(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-
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