A. Raw Milk Sampling and Testing Standards.
(1) The farmstead cheese processor is responsible for the collection and cost associated with the sampling and testing of raw milk used for the manufacture of farmstead cheese;
(2) Sampling shall be conducted by an industry plant sampler;
(3) The raw milk used for the manufacture of farmstead cheese shall be tested monthly for:
(b) Drug residue;
(d) Odor; and
B. Raw Milk Quality Standards.
(1) A standard plate count of raw milk for farmstead cheese may not exceed 500,000 per milliliter;
(2) Raw milk shall meet the following drug residue standards:
(a) Raw milk for farmstead cheese shall be negative for drug residue.
(b) Before processing, the industry plant sampler shall collect a representative sample of raw milk used in the manufacture of farmstead cheese; and
(c) An official laboratory or officially designated laboratory shall conduct drug residue testing for the presence of drug residue in accordance with the Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, Appendix N.
(3) Raw milk shall meet the following temperature standards:
(a) Raw milk for farmstead cheese shall be cooled to 7°C (45°F) or less within two hours after initial milking;
(b) The blend temperature after the first and subsequent milkings may not exceed 10°C (50°F).
(c) Raw milk for farmstead cheese shall be cooled to and maintained at a temperature not to exceed 7°C (45°F).
(4) The appearance and odor of raw milk used for farmstead cheese shall be free from:
(a) Objectionable feed;
(b) Off odors; and
(5) In accordance with the Department, an official laboratory or officially designated laboratory shall test a composite milk sample and shall rate it “acceptable for use” if there is no actionable residue for:
(b) Pesticides; and
(6) Added water shall be tested on an individual producer’s milk in accordance with the Department’s official laboratory or officially designated laboratory and rated “acceptable for use” if the test result is -0.540°H or less.
C. Farmstead Cheese Finished Product Sampling.
(1) The farmstead cheese processor is responsible for the collection and cost associated with the sampling and testing of a finished farmstead cheese product;
(2) Sampling shall be conducted by an industry plant sampler;
(3) The initial three finished products of each farmstead cheese shall be tested for:
(b) Escherichia coli (E. coli);
(c) Listeria monocytogenes;
(d) Staphylococcus aureus;
(e) Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (0157:H7); and
(f) Percent moisture.
(4) The finished product of each farmstead cheese shall be tested annually and is in accordance with §C(3) of this regulation.
D. Farmstead Cheese Finished Product Quality Standards. The farmstead cheese finished product:
(1) Shall test negative for Salmonella, Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (0157:H7), and Listeria monocytogenes;
(2) Shall test less than 10 cfu/gram for E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus; and
(3) May not be greater than 39 percent moisture.
E. Farmstead Cheese Processing Standards. The farmstead cheese:
(1) Finished product shall be aged at least 60 calendar days before offering for sale;
(2) Shall be aged or cured at a temperature of not less than 35°F; and
(3) Finished product may not contain more than 39 percent moisture at the end of the aging period.
F. The farmstead cheese processor shall ensure that the result of all tested farmstead cheese finished products are submitted and approved by the Department before further processing or sale of the farmstead cheese.
G. The Department may request that the farmstead cheese processor have the farmstead cheese finished product tested, as needed, as set forth in the United States Food and Drug Administration Food Compliance Program, “Domestic and Imported Cheese and Cheese Products,” to ensure compliance with this regulation.
H. Water Samples.
(1) Samples for bacteriological testing of the plant water supply and, if applicable, any other water used for cooling and processing shall be collected:
(a) Upon the initial approval of the physical structure;
(b) Every 6 months thereafter; and
(c) When any repair or alteration to the water supply system has been made.
(2) Plant water for testing shall be obtained from a potable water supply system that complies with Regulation .15A of this chapter.
(3) Samples shall be taken by the Department and examined by an official laboratory.
I. Record Keeping Required.
(1) Current written step by step standard operating procedures are required for:
(a) Product trace back;
(b) Product recalls;
(c) Drug residue testing;
(d) Cleaning of the equipment and facility;
(e) Sanitizing equipment and product contact surfaces;
(f) Receiving, processing, aging, storage, and packaging of each type of farmstead cheese produced;
(g) Pest control and preventative maintenance; and
(h) Employee training including personal hygiene practices;
(2) Processing records shall include the:
(a) Product being manufactured;
(b) Drug residue testing as set forth in the Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, Appendix N;
(c) Date and result of the raw milk testing;
(d) Date and result of the finished farmstead cheese product tested;
(e) The pH of each batch after inoculation at 5 hours, 24 hours, and the end of aging; and
(f) Raw ingredient:
(iii) Transportation; and
(iv) Other information required by the Department; and
(g) Temperature, as set forth in Regulation .07 of this chapter.
(3) For each batch of farmstead cheese produced, a make record shall be maintained and include:
(a) The name of the product being produced;
(b) The temperature of the milk being used;
(c) A unique identifier assigned at the start of the production of that batch of cheese shall be:
(i) Used to track each batch of cheese through the production process; and
(ii) Included on the product label;
(d) The amount of product being produced;
(e) The name and amount of each ingredient added;
(f) The cook temperature;
(g) The pH of the product after inoculation at 5 hours, 24 hours, and the end of aging; and
(h) The production date for the product which is the date the batch entered the aging room to start the aging process; and
(4) Each record shall be available to the Department for review during each inspection.