FSANZ’s raw milk cheese approval awaits ministerial review

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Fsanz

FSANZ approves raw milk cheese sale; ministers reviewing decision
FSANZ approves raw milk cheese sale; ministers reviewing decision
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has approved a proposal recommending the sale of raw milk curd cheeses that is now awaiting review from food regulation ministers.

The ministers in the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) will review FSANZ’s decision; made following three rounds of public consultations.

Mark Thornton, a spokesperson for FSANZ, told FoodNavigator-Asia that “the Forum now has 60 days to either request FSANZ to review the standard or not. If ministers do not ask for a review the decision will be gazetted and become part of food law in Australian states and territories.”

The use of raw milk in products was first assessed in August last year under a proposal.

The assessment of these products has looked at what production and processing measures and product characteristics are needed to provide a high level of safety for consumers.

It resulted in recommendations for the use of raw milk in non­pasteurised, hard to very hard cooked curd cheeses, which would involve changes to the dairy standards in the Food Standards Code (FSC).

Other raw milk products

FSANZ is now looking at permissions for other raw milk cheeses, through a new proposal using previous technical work.

“Other raw milk cheeses are being considered separately because a wider range of processing measures and product characteristics need to be considered,”​ he said.

However, he said raw drinking milk “presents too high a risk to consider any permission in the FSC”.

“For raw drinking milk, even extremely good hygiene procedures won’t ensure dangerous pathogens aren’t present. Complications from bacteria that can contaminate these products can be extremely severe, such as haemolytic uraemic syndrome which can result in renal failure and death,”​ he said.

Currently four states permit the production of raw goat milk for sale for human consumption including Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia; this usage will be reviewed under FSANZs latest proposal.

Related topics Policy Oceania Food safety Dairy

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