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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/
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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 06-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #46
Cochise Cochise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
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.
Sterilization is not what's happening when the zit-faced teenager washes the dishes at your local sportsbar. Sanitization perhaps.

The point is, both are different standards of the same thing - it's a question of degree not difference. There will always be risk to eating something no matter where it came from.

Is cheese that may have touched wood, as most all cheese has for centuries, an unacceptable risk to the consumer? Can they demonstrate conclusively that this cheese is unsafe? Can they document that people are being harmed by it? Can they demonstrate that other surfaces are demonstrably safer to age cheese on?

I'd guess that the answer is that no one studied it, but the FDA doesn't have to study things, it just issues decrees.

At what point does it just become busybody regulation? Bureaucrats looking for something to do?
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:56 PM   #47
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
Sterilization is not what's happening when the zit-faced teenager washes the dishes at your local sportsbar. Sanitization perhaps.

The point is, both are different standards of the same thing - it's a question of degree not difference. There will always be risk to eating something no matter where it came from.

Is cheese that may have touched wood, as most all cheese has for centuries, an unacceptable risk to the consumer? Can they demonstrate conclusively that this cheese is unsafe? Can they document that people are being harmed by it? Can they demonstrate that other surfaces are demonstrably safer to age cheese on?

I'd guess that the answer is that no one studied it, but the FDA doesn't have to study things, it just issues decrees.

At what point does it just become busybody regulation? Bureaucrats looking for something to do?
Yes, I should have said sanitized.
I don't know the answers to any of the other questions, but apparently there was never a new policy in place anyway.

"The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any FSMA [Food Safety Modernization Act] requirement in effect that addresses this issue," the government agency said in a statement. "Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves."
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:37 PM   #48
GloucesterChief GloucesterChief is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
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.
Wood is actually superior due to the fact that dead wood and the micro-organisms that inhabit dead wood are naturally anti-bacterial and don't infect humans. Wood cutting boards are less dangerous than plastic because plastic is not naturally anti-bacterial.
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