Kaas gerijpt op een houten plank? Dan mag het de VS niet meer in

Blue cheese on wooden background Foto iStock

De Amerikaanse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit FDA gaat steeds verder in het verbieden van “onhygiënisch” geproduceerde kaas: als die gerijpt heeft op houten planken mag het inmiddels niet meer, want: hout is “poreus en slecht schoon te houden”. In Amerikaanse zuivelstaten als Wisconsin komen ze daardoor in de problemen, net als in veel Europese landen. Hoe zinvol is die smetvrees van de FDA eigenlijk?

Earlier this year, a new trend started in the United States. The first episode was when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — citing hygienic reasons — reproached New York State’s cheesemakers for their practice of aging cheese on wooden shelving.

The administrative slap almost went unnoticed, until this alarming news in June: The FDA decided to outright prohibit aging cheese on wooden boards. Such a ban is only partially surprising in a sanitary-obsessed country, that pushes the logic as far as pasteurizing honey — despite being antiseptic itself — and forbids raw milk cheeses aged less than 60 days.

And now, the latest development came this month when Nora Weiser, executive director of the American Cheese Society, a Denver-based trade association, requested further explanations from the FDA about the sudden ban of an artisanal practice that’s been used for time immemorial.

Monica Metz, the FDA’s Egg and Dairy Branch Chief, responded by citing a current regulation. It requires that cheese must be aged on “surfaces that can be adequately cleaned and sanitized,” excluding wood as its “porous structure enables it to absorb and retain bacteria.”

Read the full article on Worldcrunch
Worldcrunch - top stories from the world’s best news sources Follow us: @worldcrunch on Twitter | Worldcrunch on Facebook

    • Marie-Claire Frédéric