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Microbiological Specifciation for Cheddar Cheese Curds

Micro- Specfication

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#1 ffkmm

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 10:23 PM

I seen cheddar cheese curds are made, bagged and sold as a ready to eat product usually in the east coast area. However does this product require any testing for coliform, APC, e.coli, Listeria, etc as a finished product? I'm was just curious if testing is required in other location in the US or any where else. If so where I can find some microbiology specification or limits.

 

Plus I have seen this product stay out all day long on the counter when I went to visit Wisconsin. I was just wondering if this product is regulated to any point. I find it hard that other cheeses have standards and cheese curds do not.

 

 



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 02:40 AM

I love cheese curds!  The only place I have seen them on the east coast was in North Carolina at a store adjacent to the only cheese factory in NC - they were in plastic bags at the counter and also on a rack.  

 

Don't know what the limits are, but all producers test for a battery of things. - This company tested for everything and then some.

 

Now, in Wisconsin cheese curds are sold in every outlet possible, gas stations, markets, at the airports, etc.  Never leave Wisconsin without some cheese curds.  Cheese curds are normally quite dry and stablized, similar to marketing popcorn or chips.


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#3 Scampi

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 05:00 PM

this may help

https://www.ams.usda...Standard[1].pdf

 

 love cheese curds...........buy them when I see them..........you should try this.....french fries, cheese curds, gravy (we use poutine sauce but I'm sure it's not available!)  mmmmmmmmmmmmm


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 01:15 AM

this may help

https://www.ams.usda...Standard[1].pdf

 

 love cheese curds...........buy them when I see them..........you should try this.....french fries, cheese curds, gravy (we use poutine sauce but I'm sure it's not available!)  mmmmmmmmmmmmm

 

Hi Scampi,

 

Interesting spec. :thumbup:

 

First time I've seen mould measured by visual comparison to the size of a "dime(s)" !!!


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Scampi

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 12:37 PM

Found the following

(U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) considers cheese made with pasteurized milk as adulterated if the cheese contains 104 1014 CFU/g S. aureus or B. cereus or 100 CFU/g E. coli; 1015 these lots should be rejected and additional investigation conducted. If enterotoxin is detected, 1016 the product should be destroyed.

 

 

Alkaline phosphatase level in pasteurized fluid bovine milk is limited to less than 2.0 1087 micrograms phenol equivalent per gram in one or more subsamples whereas cheeses may have higher limits. Actionable limits for S. aureus and B. cereus are set to 104 1088 CFU/g whereas limits 1089 for E. coli or coliforms are set based for specific products. Pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli 1090 O157:H7, or L. monocytogenes are considered adulterants in RTE dairy products.

https://www.fsis.usd...pdf?MOD=AJPERES

 

American cheese includes the following varieties of cheese: (a) Cheddar cheese and cheddar cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.113 and 133.114, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. (b) Washed curd cheese (soaked curd cheese) and washed curd cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.136 and 133.137, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. © Granular cheese (stirred curd cheese) and granular cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.144 and 133.145, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. (d) Colby cheese and colby cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.118 and 133.119, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration

 

https://www.ams.usda...Standard[1].pdf

 

So since they've define what "american" cheese is, following the standards for american cheese limits should do the trick

 

From what I can tell, because there is no standard of identity for curds, there are no specific limits for anything


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


#6 sqflady

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 06:04 PM

I have attached the Wisconsin regulations on cheese curds.  They must be date/time stamped and used within 24 hours if held outside of refrigeration.

Attached Files



#7 ffkmm

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 10:55 PM

My issue currently is that we test for coliform, e.coli and listeria for our RTE curds.

 

All my testing except for coliform which we made <100 coliform as our specification comes back fine.

 

Coliform is my issue which I know correlates to some type of satiation issue within the vat.

 

I sometimes get 500 to 1500 coliform at times and we currently don't release the product.My assumption is that this cheese I not for human consumption. However I don't see any specification for curds,  so should I just stop testing for coliform because there is not specification?  



#8 sqflady

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 11:50 AM

My recommendation would be to keep testing.  You need to find the sanitation failure and fix the problem so no one gets sick.  I would suggest monitoring the sanitation process to try and find the issue.  Ensure that all equipment and transfer hoses are being cleaned and sanitized properly.  Take swabs if needed.  I have experienced the same issue and found that no one was cleaning and sanitizing the transfer hose.  An employee hung it up on the wall so it was out of the way and others assumed it was clean since it was hung up.  

 

Generally curds are made from cheddar, colby or monterey jack cheese.  The standards for those cheeses should be met, typically < 100 cfu/g.



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 01:26 PM

Found the following

(U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) considers cheese made with pasteurized milk as adulterated if the cheese contains 104 1014 CFU/g S. aureus or B. cereus or 100 CFU/g E. coli; 1015 these lots should be rejected and additional investigation conducted. If enterotoxin is detected, 1016 the product should be destroyed.

 

 

Alkaline phosphatase level in pasteurized fluid bovine milk is limited to less than 2.0 1087 micrograms phenol equivalent per gram in one or more subsamples whereas cheeses may have higher limits. Actionable limits for S. aureus and B. cereus are set to 104 1088 CFU/g whereas limits 1089 for E. coli or coliforms are set based for specific products. Pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli 1090 O157:H7, or L. monocytogenes are considered adulterants in RTE dairy products.

https://www.fsis.usd...pdf?MOD=AJPERES

 

American cheese includes the following varieties of cheese: (a) Cheddar cheese and cheddar cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.113 and 133.114, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. (b) Washed curd cheese (soaked curd cheese) and washed curd cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.136 and 133.137, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. © Granular cheese (stirred curd cheese) and granular cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.144 and 133.145, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration. (d) Colby cheese and colby cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.118 and 133.119, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration

 

https://www.ams.usda...Standard[1].pdf

 

So since they've define what "american" cheese is, following the standards for american cheese limits should do the trick

 

From what I can tell, because there is no standard of identity for curds, there are no specific limits for anything

 

Hi Scampi,

 

The red ^^^ looks like a secret code. Do you have the key ?

 

My guess should be -

 

Found the following

(U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) considers cheese made with pasteurized milk as adulterated if the cheese contains 104 CFU/g S. aureus or B. cereus,  or 100 CFU/g E. coli;  these lots should be rejected and additional investigation conducted. If enterotoxin is detected,  the product should be destroyed.

 

 

Alkaline phosphatase level in pasteurized fluid bovine milk is limited to less than 2.0  micrograms phenol equivalent per gram in one or more subsamples whereas cheeses may have higher limits. Actionable limits for S. aureus and B. cereus are set to 104 CFU/g whereas limits  for E. coli or coliforms are set based for specific products. Pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli  O157:H7, or L. monocytogenes are considered adulterants in RTE dairy products

 

( a few >= might have helped also)

 

@sqflady - the "spec." contains no micro. Perhaps surprising ?


Edited by Charles.C, 27 March 2019 - 02:31 PM.
expanded

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 Scampi

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 02:31 PM

LOL, Charles, I didn't see that!  

It is a key!!!!!!!!!  The doc has # each line  :roflmao:

Hi Scampi,

 

The red ^^^ looks like a secret code. Do you have the key ?

 

My guess should be -

 

( a few >= might have helped also)

All dairy food categories listed below are presumed to be made with pasteurized milk to 1078 eliminate common vegetative bacterial pathogens. Therefore, the presence of any pathogens 1079 when testing for process control or sanitary conditions represents post-process contamination. In 1080 the U.S., these dairy products are either regulated under the PMO Pasteurized Milk Ordinance 1081 (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011) or microbiological limits are identified 1082 in the Dairy Compliance Guidelines (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). 1083 Other resources for microbiological limits include the Compendium of Methods for the 1084 Microbiological Examination of Foods (Milk and Milk Products) and Standard Methods for the 1085 Examination of Dairy Products (American Public Health Association) (Wehr and Frank, 2004).  Alkaline phosphatase level in pasteurized fluid bovine milk is limited to less than 2.0  micrograms phenol equivalent per gram in one or more subsamples whereas cheeses may have higher limits. Actionable limits for S. aureus and B. cereus are set to 104  CFU/g whereas limits  for E. coli or coliforms are set based for specific products. Pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli  O157:H7, or L. monocytogenes are considered adulterants in RTE dairy products


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#11 sqflady

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 04:25 PM

Cheese curds are considered a granular/stirred curd cheese.  

 

Granular cheese (stirred curd cheese) and granular cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.144 and 133.145, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration.



#12 Charles.C

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:19 PM

Cheese curds are considered a granular/stirred curd cheese.  

 

Granular cheese (stirred curd cheese) and granular cheese for manufacturing shall conform to the provisions of 21 CFR 133.144 and 133.145, respectively, “Cheeses and Related Cheese Products,” as issued by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

Hi sqflady,

 

So IYO (and presumably Wisconsin's) the FDA Dairy Compliance Policy Guide 527.300 (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) is not relevant to this item ?.

 

If so there appears no particular need for the OP to do micro.testing other than self-interest. (I wondered where the 100cfu/g coliform limit in posts 7,8 comes from ? [seemed no mention in the 133 cfr documents?])

 

Or do other States have different opinions ?

 

(analogous to OP's query, I got the impression from yr attachment that the RT sale is a one-off dispensation by/for Wisconsin [hopefully with some scientific validation somewhere]


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#13 sqflady

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 08:36 PM

Hi Charles,
I believe that to be a correct assumption. There are certainly guidelines published but I don’t believe requirements. With that being said, testing is typically required for your customers. Testing also is just good practice. I would not recommend stopping testing. Work to improve the process and bring counts down.



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#14 ffkmm

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 06:09 PM

So if I am understanding this all correctly, there is no standard way of testing for RTE curd for coliform in fresh curds?

So I could use my coliform as of way to understand whether or not I would received a customer comment on this product specifically or a shelf life product if it were occur?



#15 Charles.C

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 03:23 AM

Hi ffkmm,

 

ex Google -

 

Many individual states in the U.S. have limits of 10 or 100 cfu/g for coliforms in cheese.

 

Curds (or cheeses) not my area of quality  expertise however the first recent attachment below exhaustively discusses the relevance of coliform data in "cheeses".

 

Additionally measurement/ results for numerous types of  NYork  "cheeses" are presented.

 

the "cheese" coliform  local limit quoted is max 10cfu/gram.

 

Attached File  coliforms, pathogens in cheeses,2016.pdf   756KB   1 downloads

 

 

this recent article on cheese microbial risk assessment has no mention of coliforms -

 

Attached File  cheese microbial risk assessment,2016.pdf   380.12KB   2 downloads

 

So if yr customer was in NY I guess they might be less happy than in some other more "coliform-friendly"  States. Wisconsin perhaps ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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