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(1) The natural cheese must be cleaned free of all non-edible portions.   Paraffin and bandages as well as rind surface, mold or unclean areas or any other part which is unwholesome or unappetizing must be removed.

(2) Each batch of cheese within the cooker, including the optional ingredients must be thoroughly commingled and the contents pasteurized at a temperature of at least 158 F. and held at that temperature for not less than 30 seconds. Care must be taken to prevent the entrance of cheese part-

icles or ingredients after the cooker batch of cheese has reached the final heating temperature. After holding for the required period of time, the hot cheese must be emptied from the cooker as quickly as possible.

(3) Containers, either lined or unlined, must be assembled and stored in a sanitary manner to prevent con-tamination.   The handling of containers by filler crews must be done with extreme care and observance of personal clean-liness. Pre-forming and assembling of pouch liners and containers must be kept to a minimum and the supply rotated to limit the length of time exposed to possible contamination prior to filling.

(4) Hot fluid cheese from the cookers may be held in hotwells or hoppers to assure a constant and even supply of processed cheese to the filler or slice former. Filler valves must effectively measure the desired amount of product into the pouch or containers in a sanitary manner and cut off sharply without drip or drag of cheese across the opening. An effective system must be used to maintain accurate and precise weight control.   Damaged or unsatisfactory packages must be removed from production. The cheese may be salvaged into sanitary containers and added back to cookers.

(5) Pouches, liners or containers having product contact surfaces after filling must be folded or closed and sealed in a sanitary manner, preferably by mechanical means, so as to assure against contamination. Each container, in addition to other required labeling, must be coded in such a manner as to be easily identified as to date of manufacture by lot or sub-lot number.

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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