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(1) Bulk starter vats must be of stainless steel or equally corrosion-resistant metal and should be constructed according to the applicable 3-a sanitary standards. The vats must be in good repair, equipped with tight-fitting lids and have adequate temperature controls such as valves, indicating and/or recording ther-mometers.

(2) The vats used for making cheese should be of metal construction with adequate jacket capacity for uniform heating. The inner liner must be minimum 16-gauge stainless steel or other equally corrosion-resistant metal properly pitched from side to center and from rear to front for adequate drainage. The liner must be smooth, free from excessive dents or creases and extend over the edge of the outer jacket. The outer jacket, when metal, must be constructed of stainless steel or other metal which can be kept clean and sanitary. The junction of the liner and outer jackets must be constructed so as to prevent milk or cheese from entering the inner jacket. The vat must be equipped with a suitable sanitary outlet valve. Effective valves must be provided and properly maintained to control the application of heat to the vat. Also vats should be equipped with removable cloth covers which can be regularly and suitably laundered, or with a single-service paper cover.

(3) The mechanical agitators must be of sanitary construction. The carriage and track must be so constructed as to prevent the dripping of dirt, or grease into the vat. Metal blades, forks, or stirrers must be constructed of stainless steel and of material approved in the 3-a sanitary standards for plastic and rubber or rubber-like materials and be free from rough or sharp edges which might scratch the equipment or remove metal particles.

(4) Knives, hand rakes, shovels, paddles, strainers, and miscellaneous equipment must be stainless steel or of material approved in the 3-a sanitary standards for plastic and rubber or rubber-like materials. The product contact surfaces of the curd mill should be of stainless steel. All pieces of equipment must be so constructed that they can be kept clean. The wires in the curd knives must be stainless steel, kept tight and replaced when necessary.

(5) Hoops, forms, and followers must be constructed of stainless steel or heavy tinned steel. If tinned, they must be kept tinned and free from rust. All hoops, forms, and followers must be kept in good repair. Drums or other special forms used to press and store cheese must be clean and sanitary.

(6) The cheese press should be constructed of stainless steel and all joints welded and all surfaces, seams and openings readily cleanable. The pressure device must be the continuous type. Press cloths must be maintained in good repair and in a sanitary condition. Single-service press cloths may be used only once.

(7) The press used to heat seal the wrapper applied to rindless cheese must have square interior corners, reasonably smooth interior surface and have controls that provide uniform pressure and heat equally to all surfaces.

(8) The metal paraffin tank should be adequate in size, have wood rather than metal racks to support the cheese, have heat controls and an indicating thermometer. The cheese wax must be kept clean.

History: Secs. 81-2-102, 81-22-102 MCA; IMP, Secs. 81-2-102, 81-22-102 MCA; Eff. 12/31/72.

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