July 31, 2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today 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, we are interested in learning more about the standards and practices in use by a wide variety of producers, including the growing artisanal cheese manufacturing community.
We are 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/Health Canada Quantitative Risk Assessment also being released today.
For more information on these risks, view guidelines for avoiding illness by choosing milk and milk products carefully.
For more information:
- Federal Register Notice: Joint Food and Drug Administration/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis From Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the United States and Canada
- Risk Assessment: Joint Food and Drug Administration/Health Canada Quantitative Assessment of the Risk of Listeriosis From Soft-Ripened Cheese Consumption in the United States and Canada
- Federal Register Notice: Understanding Potential Intervention Measures to Reduce the Risk of Foodborne Illness From Consumption of Cheese Manufactured from Unpasteurized Milk
- Visit http://www.regulations.gov to make submissions electronically. The public comment period will remain open for 90 days starting August 3, 2015.