The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on July 31 that it is requesting comments from the public, including scientific data and information, that would assist the agency in identifying and evaluating measures that might minimize the impact of harmful bacteria in cheeses made from unpasteurized milk.
The FDA recognizes that there is broad diversity in cheese manufacturing operations and approaches, and that many factors go into ensuring the safety of the food. In issuing this call for data and information, the FDA is interested in learning more about the standards and practices in use by a wide variety of producers, including the growing artisanal cheese manufacturing community.
The FDA is taking this action as part of an ongoing discussion with industry and other stakeholders about potential health risks associated with consumption of cheese made from unpasteurized milk – risks that are greatest for people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women and children.
The FDA is taking this action in part based on findings from a joint FDA and Health Canada quantitative risk assessment that was also released on July 31.
For more information on these risks, view guidelines for avoiding illness on the FDA website.
Visit regulations.gov to make submissions electronically. The public comment period will remain open for 90 days, starting Aug. 3. PD
—From U.S. Food and Drug Administration news release