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Hygiene and Food Safety for Artisan and Farmstead Cheesemakers

Vermont Technical College
Randolph Center, VT

This course will evaluate food safety within a cheese plant with an emphasis on good manufacturing practices, good personal hygiene, sanitation, factors that affect microbial growth and who the major microbes of interest are. With the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point requirements for food safety plans will became a regulatory requirement. The changes would have an important impact on small and artisanal cheesemakers This VTC workshop in Food Safety and Artisan Cheesemaking series explores potential hazards in cheese making with a focus on those of a biological nature capable of causing food borne illness if present in cheese. We will review specific microbial pathogens of concern, sources of contamination and interventions aimed at reducing risks both on-farm and in the processing facility. In addition we will discuss preventative control strategies cheesemakers can employ with a focus on essential pre-requisite programs such as good manufacturing practices, proper sanitation standard operating procedures and related documentation. This course will conclude with a thorough description milk quality tests and interpretation of results. The whole program offers a proactive step of risk reduction practices and preventive controls to improve the safety of artisanal cheeses and prepare producers for forthcoming regulation. This course will be taught by Dr. Todd Pritchard from the University of Vermont.