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Old 06-10-2014, 06:11 PM  
planetdoc planetdoc is offline
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FDA may destroy America's real cheese industry

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorym...eese-industry/
(highlights)
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an executive decree banning the centuries old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards. One bureaucrat within the FDA, without surveying all of the scientific literature, and without public commentary, has rattled hundreds of small businesses across the United States. Consumers who eat any kind of aged cheese should prepare for a potentially catastrophic disruption in the market for artisan, non-processed cheese.

Corporate cheese makers like Leprino and Kraft will be able to weather this regulatory storm — they don’t make cheese, they manufacture cheese, and as such they do not follow the centuries old artisan techniques. But for small businesses and artisan cheese makers, wood boards are in fact essential to the making of cheese. As cheese expert Gordon Edgar writes, “wood creates a beneficial environment for cheese. After all, what is cheese but a great achievement of the microbe community?” Edgar notes that wood is essential to the flavor of artisanal cheeses, it distinguishes it from the large manufactured cheeses.

In sum, small businesses who specialize in artisan cheeses will likely be destroyed by this decision.

To make matters worse, the FDA is acting without legal authority.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #31
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In other news, government reverses itself again. Margarine is good for you now. **** these people!
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:07 AM   #32
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I imagine this would create enough backlash that it won't ever come to fruition.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #33
mr. tegu mr. tegu is offline
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So after clicking the link in the OP, and reading the article which now has an update, my initial reaction seems accurate for the moment. It does seem though like they were throwing something out there to see if it would stick, and since it didn't they are going back on what was originally said.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorym...r-aged-cheese/

Quote:
The FDA is backing away (at least temporarily) from a policy statement that declared cheese makers would no longer be able to age their cheese on wooden boards. The statement caused outrage in the artisan cheese community and consumers quickly came to the aid of the industry signing onto a petition and expressing their outrage through social media. The American Cheese Society released a position statement, and it was clear that the industry was prepared to fight back if the FDA did not change its position.

Today, the FDA claimed that it in fact had not issued a new policy, they stated:

“The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any FSMA requirement in effect that addresses this issue. Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves.

In the interest of public health, the FDA’s current regulations state that utensils and other surfaces that contact food must be “adequately cleanable” and properly maintained. Historically, the FDA has expressed concern about whether wood meets this requirement and has noted these concerns in inspectional findings. FDA is always open to evidence that shows that wood can be safely used for specific purposes, such as aging cheese.

The FDA will engage with the artisanal cheese-making community to determine whether certain types of cheeses can safely be made by aging them on wooden shelving.”
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:11 AM   #34
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:13 AM   #35
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Good to see another bloated government agency trying to invent ways to make themselves relevent. ****ing ticks feeding off a healthy host.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
So after clicking the link in the OP, and reading the article which now has an update, my initial reaction seems accurate for the moment. It does seem though like they were throwing something out there to see if it would stick, and since it didn't they are going back on what was originally said.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorym...r-aged-cheese/
good news. their is still a concern that individuals may have to prove to the FDA that using wood in the cheese making process is safe as opposed to the FDA having to prove that it isn't. (i.e. having to prove your innocence vs them proving your guilt).
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:06 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
good news. their is still a concern that individuals may have to prove to the FDA that using wood in the cheese making process is safe as opposed to the FDA having to prove that it isn't. (i.e. having to prove your innocence vs them proving your guilt).
That is really dumb that they have to do that too.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:07 AM   #38
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I wonder how many people have died from cheese aged on wood lately?
Does it match the numbers of those who died from properly prescribed medication?
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:11 AM   #39
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Will this lead to the end of cooking on various wood planks? A slippery slope?
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:07 PM   #40
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This seems bizarre. Wood may not be "adequately cleanable." Right, because no one uses wood cutting boards or anything.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #41
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I never felt less like being a rich person than when I walked into a cheese shop. That being said I don't remember much cheese that WASN'T rotting, oops I mean aging, on a wooden platter.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:15 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaise View Post
This seems bizarre. Wood may not be "adequately cleanable." Right, because no one uses wood cutting boards or anything.
What you do in your house and what places do when food is for broad public consumption are different. I don't know enough about this cheese thing to have a strong opinion, but there are laws out there in some places about restaurants using knives with wood handles. Wood is porous and therefore generally can't really be properly sterilized for use by the next customer.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #43
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:24 PM   #44
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If large numbers of people have yet to die from companies using wood to age cheese--then I say leave it alone. There is such a thing as living in an overly sterile environment.

Geezaz! We could up our tolerance of some bacteria, including some harmful. Cripes, cheese is made from bacteria. It's not always a bad thing. Even anti-bacterial soap has some bad effects on our skin. ( not to mention it doesn't really protect since it's mostly marketing)
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:37 PM   #45
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The FDA says it "may" not be safe. So study it and determine if it is or not. This isn't rocket science.

All kinds of spirits are distilled in barrels that are re-used, I guess that industry needs to watch out next.
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