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Whole Foods retira del mercado el queso pecorino envejecido por posible contaminación por Listeria

Whole Foods retira del mercado el queso pecorino envejecido por posible contaminación por Listeria

El queso retirado del mercado se vendió en una tienda de Florida y una de Nueva York

Los productos dieron positivo en listeria monocytogenes durante una inspección de rutina.

Sostén el queso, por favor. Whole Foods ha emitido una recordar de su queso pecorino añejo en hojas de nuez vendido en dos tiendas por posible contaminación por listeria.

Las tiendas afectadas están ubicadas en Bowery, Nueva York y West Palm Beach, Florida. El queso dio positivo por listeria monocytogenes durante una inspección de rutina realizada por el proveedor.

El queso retirado del mercado de Bowery lleva etiquetas de escala que comienzan con el código PLU 294239 y se venden hasta el 3 de marzo de 2016 hasta el 8 de marzo de 2016. El queso de West Palm Beach tiene etiquetas de escala que comienzan con el código PLU 290107 y se venden hasta el 29 de febrero. 2016 hasta el 8 de marzo de 2016. El queso retirado del mercado se sacó de los estantes de las tiendas y se destruyó el 8 de febrero.

Los clientes que compraron el queso retirado del mercado deben desecharlo y traer su recibo a Whole Foods para recibir un reembolso completo. Aún no se han reportado enfermedades relacionadas con el queso.


Los amantes del queso hacen agujeros en posibles reglas sobre productos envejecidos

Las peticiones por caja se están acumulando en las tiendas de especialidades de queso en todo el país. Y la gente está loca.

"¡Este es solo un ejemplo más del gobierno que maneja nuestras vidas!" escribe un amante del queso enojado de Lexington, Kentucky. Un hombre de Applegate, Oregon, escribe: "Más estadounidenses han sucumbido a las hamburguesas de comida rápida contaminadas que los que se han enfermado por el Pecorino en la pasta".

Y, de un escritor de Minneapolis: “Grrrrrr. . . . ¿No es hora de que el gobierno actúe para prohibir algunas cosas que realmente causan daño a las personas? Me vienen a la mente la minería a cielo abierto y las pistolas ".

Se encuentran entre los miles que han reaccionado a lo que ven como un ataque inmerecido a uno de los íconos culinarios culturales más preciados del mundo: los quesos curados, esas creaciones aromáticas y sabrosas hechas con leche cruda.

El objeto de su ira es la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que está dando los primeros pasos tentativos para estudiar los posibles peligros para la salud de los quesos de leche cruda, lo que plantea la posibilidad real de una acción reguladora.

La perspectiva ha provocado una tormenta de fuego entre los aficionados al queso que ven manipular estos quesos como cortar una pintura de un viejo maestro o quemar la partitura original de una sinfonía clásica. Y, en medio de un debate presidencial sobre el papel apropiado del gobierno federal, la controversia está dando energía a quienes piensan que Washington es demasiado intrusivo.

“El gobierno está tratando de convertirnos en una nación de comedores de Velveeta”, dijo K. Dun Gifford, quien dirige Oldways Preservation & amp Exchange Trust, un grupo con sede en Boston que busca preservar los alimentos tradicionales. "Es una regulación gubernamental enloquecida".

El gobierno de los EE. UU. Ha exigido durante mucho tiempo que los quesos frescos se fabriquen con leche pasteurizada. Pero hasta ahora no había límites en la venta de quesos curados elaborados con leche cruda sin pasteurizar porque se suponía que el proceso de envejecimiento mataría las bacterias dañinas.

Ahora, nuevos estudios han impulsado una revisión de la FDA sobre si el período mínimo de envejecimiento de 60 días es lo suficientemente largo para destruir organismos peligrosos y está estudiando una posible regulación: la pasteurización o una prohibición total se encuentran entre las opciones más drásticas de la agencia.

¿Gruyere, parmigiana, roquefort o pastor de Vermont pasteurizados? La idea envía un estremecimiento colectivo a los amantes del queso en todas partes.

Morder un queso de leche cruda perfectamente añejado "te da una idea de lo que los enólogos llaman terruño, que significa un 'sentido de lugar', de la tierra", dijo Ruth Flore, ex presidenta de la American Cheese Society. "Si te obligaron a pasteurizar, perderás ese sabor que te dice de dónde viene el queso".

Ari Weinzweig, propietario de la tienda especializada en alimentos Zingerman’s en Ann Arbor, Michigan, dijo que los consumidores merecen el derecho a tomar sus propias decisiones sobre si vale la pena correr el riesgo de comer estos quesos sin "tener que infringir la ley o volar a Europa".

La oposición a la intrusión de la FDA está tan extendida que los opositores han formado su propia organización. La Cheese of Choice Coalition, organizada por Oldways y la American Cheese Society, tiene un elenco pesado de tiendas y organizaciones de alimentos respetadas tanto aquí como en el extranjero. Estos incluyen Whole Foods Markets, que posee las tiendas de alimentos Bread and Circus y Fresh Fields Fairway Market en la ciudad de Nueva York y su gerente de quesos, Steve Jenkins, autor del libro "The Cheese Primer", la empresa láctea Neal's Yard Dairy, con sede en Londres, famoso exportador de quesos finos el Consorcio Parmigiana Reggiano, con sede en Parma, Italia, que exporta todo Parmigiana Reggiano a los Estados Unidos David Levine, gerente general de la tienda insignia Dean & amp DeLuca en la ciudad de Nueva York y Corby Kummer, reconocido columnista de alimentos de The Revista atlántica.

Los funcionarios de la FDA insisten en que no están tratando de quitarle los quesos favoritos de nadie y que la agencia solo está tratando de estar alerta durante una era de creciente ansiedad sobre la seguridad alimentaria. En los últimos años, con la aparición de bacterias recientemente identificadas, como E. coli 0157: H7, los brotes transmitidos por los alimentos han pasado de simplemente enfermar a las personas a matarlas.

“Nuestro negocio no es limitar las opciones del consumidor [sino] proteger la salud pública”, dijo Jack Mowbray, analista de políticas en la división de seguridad alimentaria de la FDA. "Preferimos evitar que ocurra un brote que responder a uno después del hecho".

Desde 1949, el gobierno ha prohibido la venta de quesos duros hechos con leche cruda a menos que hayan sido envejecidos durante al menos 60 días a 35 grados Fahrenheit. Pero recientemente, la FDA comenzó a preocuparse acerca de si la regulación merecía otra mirada.

La agencia se preocupó después de conocer algunos estudios, entre ellos una investigación de 1996 realizada en la Universidad Estatal de Dakota del Sur que mostró que E. coli 0157: H7 podría sobrevivir al período de envejecimiento de 60 días en el queso cheddar y varios estudios europeos que muestran resultados similares con otras dos bacterias. , salmonella y listeria.

La FDA preguntó a su Comité Asesor Nacional sobre Criterios Microbiológicos para Alimentos, un panel de expertos que asesora a la FDA y al Departamento de Agricultura, si los estudios deberían impulsar una revisión de la regulación actual. El panel dijo que sí.

La agencia patrocina su propia investigación, financiada por la iniciativa de seguridad alimentaria del presidente Clinton. Científicos del gobierno del Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria en Chicago están estudiando muestras de queso cheddar de leche cruda inyectadas con muestras de E. coli, incluidas las diferentes cepas del mortal 0157: H7, para ver qué les sucede durante el envejecimiento. proceso.

Hasta ahora, no ha habido brotes en los Estados Unidos asociados con el consumo de quesos de leche cruda. Pero Mowbray señaló que se han reportado brotes con quesos de leche cruda en Canadá y Europa, incluido uno grande en Canadá a mediados de la década de 1980 por salmonella y más de uno causado por E. coli en Europa.

Los resultados preliminares muestran que las bacterias perduran más de 60 días, pero Mowbray insistió en que la FDA no busca prohibir los quesos de leche cruda. "Solo estamos tratando de determinar qué tipo de problema tenemos".

Si los estudios confirman el problema, dijo Mowbray, la agencia primero consideraría varias opciones además de requerir la pasteurización o una prohibición total, como la subpasteurización, que implica el uso de una temperatura más baja.

Además, los funcionarios de la FDA están trabajando con el USDA para determinar el efecto de las prácticas agrícolas en los niveles de organismos en la leche cruda. "Puede haber formas de mantener los patógenos fuera de la leche cruda, mediante el cuidado especial de los animales de granja", dijo Mowbray.

Aquellos que se oponen a la investigación actual de la FDA podrían aceptar a regañadientes una etiqueta en el queso de leche cruda, siempre que se preserve el derecho de los consumidores a elegir.

“Estos quesos han estado con nosotros durante miles de años”, dijo Gifford de Oldways. “Son como una gran literatura, danza y arquitectura, y vale la pena luchar por ellas”.


Los amantes del queso hacen agujeros en posibles reglas sobre productos envejecidos

Las peticiones por caja se están acumulando en las tiendas de especialidades de queso en todo el país. Y la gente está loca.

"¡Este es solo un ejemplo más del gobierno que maneja nuestras vidas!" escribe un amante del queso enojado de Lexington, Kentucky. Un hombre de Applegate, Oregon, escribe: "Más estadounidenses han sucumbido a las hamburguesas de comida rápida contaminadas que los que se han enfermado por el Pecorino en la pasta".

Y, de un escritor de Minneapolis: “Grrrrrr. . . . ¿No es hora de que el gobierno actúe para prohibir algunas cosas que realmente causan daño a las personas? Me vienen a la mente la minería a cielo abierto y las pistolas ".

Se encuentran entre los miles que han reaccionado a lo que ven como un ataque inmerecido a uno de los íconos culinarios culturales más preciados del mundo: los quesos curados, esas creaciones aromáticas y sabrosas hechas con leche cruda.

El objeto de su ira es la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que está dando los primeros pasos tentativos para estudiar los posibles peligros para la salud de los quesos de leche cruda, lo que plantea la posibilidad real de una acción reguladora.

La perspectiva ha provocado una tormenta de fuego entre los aficionados al queso que ven manipular estos quesos como cortar una pintura de un viejo maestro o quemar la partitura original de una sinfonía clásica. Y, en medio de un debate presidencial sobre el papel apropiado del gobierno federal, la controversia está dando energía a quienes piensan que Washington es demasiado intrusivo.

“El gobierno está tratando de convertirnos en una nación de consumidores de Velveeta”, dijo K. Dun Gifford, quien dirige Oldways Preservation & amp Exchange Trust, un grupo con sede en Boston que busca preservar los alimentos tradicionales. "Es una regulación gubernamental enloquecida".

El gobierno de los EE. UU. Ha exigido durante mucho tiempo que los quesos frescos se fabriquen con leche pasteurizada. Pero hasta ahora no había límites en la venta de quesos curados elaborados con leche cruda sin pasteurizar porque se suponía que el proceso de envejecimiento mataría las bacterias dañinas.

Ahora, nuevos estudios han impulsado una revisión de la FDA sobre si el período mínimo de envejecimiento de 60 días es lo suficientemente largo para destruir organismos peligrosos y está estudiando una posible regulación: la pasteurización o una prohibición total se encuentran entre las opciones más drásticas de la agencia.

¿Gruyere, parmigiana, roquefort o pastor de Vermont pasteurizados? La idea envía un estremecimiento colectivo a los amantes del queso en todas partes.

Morder un queso de leche cruda perfectamente añejado "te da una idea de lo que los enólogos llaman terruño, que significa un 'sentido de lugar', de la tierra", dijo Ruth Flore, ex presidenta de la American Cheese Society. "Si te obligaron a pasteurizar, perderás ese sabor que te dice de dónde viene el queso".

Ari Weinzweig, propietario de la tienda especializada en alimentos Zingerman’s en Ann Arbor, Michigan, dijo que los consumidores merecen el derecho a tomar sus propias decisiones sobre si vale la pena correr el riesgo de comer estos quesos sin "tener que infringir la ley o volar a Europa".

La oposición a la intrusión de la FDA está tan extendida que los opositores han formado su propia organización. La Cheese of Choice Coalition, organizada por Oldways y la American Cheese Society, tiene un elenco pesado de tiendas y organizaciones de alimentos respetadas tanto aquí como en el extranjero. Estos incluyen Whole Foods Markets, que posee las tiendas de alimentos Bread and Circus y Fresh Fields Fairway Market en la ciudad de Nueva York y su gerente de quesos, Steve Jenkins, autor del libro "The Cheese Primer", la empresa láctea Neal's Yard Dairy, con sede en Londres, famoso exportador de quesos finos el Consorcio Parmigiana Reggiano, con sede en Parma, Italia, que exporta todo Parmigiana Reggiano a los Estados Unidos David Levine, gerente general de la tienda insignia Dean & amp DeLuca en la ciudad de Nueva York y Corby Kummer, reconocido columnista de alimentos de The Revista atlántica.

Los funcionarios de la FDA insisten en que no están tratando de quitarle los quesos favoritos de nadie y que la agencia solo está tratando de estar alerta durante una era de creciente ansiedad sobre la seguridad alimentaria. En los últimos años, con la aparición de bacterias recientemente identificadas, como E. coli 0157: H7, los brotes transmitidos por los alimentos han pasado de simplemente enfermar a las personas a matarlas.

“Nuestro negocio no es limitar las opciones del consumidor [sino] proteger la salud pública”, dijo Jack Mowbray, analista de políticas en la división de seguridad alimentaria de la FDA. "Preferimos evitar que ocurra un brote que responder a uno después del hecho".

Desde 1949, el gobierno ha prohibido la venta de quesos duros hechos con leche cruda a menos que hayan sido envejecidos durante al menos 60 días a 35 grados Fahrenheit. Pero recientemente, la FDA comenzó a preocuparse acerca de si la regulación merecía otra mirada.

La agencia se preocupó después de conocer algunos estudios, entre ellos una investigación de 1996 realizada en la Universidad Estatal de Dakota del Sur que mostró que E. coli 0157: H7 podría sobrevivir al período de envejecimiento de 60 días en el queso cheddar y varios estudios europeos que muestran resultados similares con otras dos bacterias. , salmonella y listeria.

La FDA preguntó a su Comité Asesor Nacional sobre Criterios Microbiológicos para Alimentos, un panel de expertos que asesora a la FDA y al Departamento de Agricultura, si los estudios deberían impulsar una revisión de la regulación actual. El panel dijo que sí.

La agencia patrocina su propia investigación, financiada por la iniciativa de seguridad alimentaria del presidente Clinton. Científicos del gobierno del Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria en Chicago están estudiando muestras de queso cheddar de leche cruda inyectadas con muestras de E. coli, incluidas las diferentes cepas del mortal 0157: H7, para ver qué les sucede durante el envejecimiento. proceso.

Hasta ahora, no ha habido brotes en los Estados Unidos asociados con el consumo de quesos de leche cruda. Pero Mowbray señaló que se han reportado brotes con quesos de leche cruda en Canadá y Europa, incluido uno grande en Canadá a mediados de la década de 1980 por salmonella y más de uno causado por E. coli en Europa.

Los resultados preliminares muestran que las bacterias perduran más de 60 días, pero Mowbray insistió en que la FDA no busca prohibir los quesos de leche cruda. "Solo estamos tratando de determinar qué tipo de problema tenemos".

Si los estudios confirman el problema, dijo Mowbray, la agencia primero consideraría varias opciones además de requerir la pasteurización o una prohibición total, como la subpasteurización, que implica el uso de una temperatura más baja.

Además, los funcionarios de la FDA están trabajando con el USDA para determinar el efecto de las prácticas agrícolas en los niveles de organismos en la leche cruda. "Puede haber formas de mantener los patógenos fuera de la leche cruda, mediante el cuidado especial de los animales de granja", dijo Mowbray.

Aquellos que se oponen a la investigación actual de la FDA podrían aceptar a regañadientes una etiqueta en el queso de leche cruda, siempre que se preserve el derecho de los consumidores a elegir.

“Estos quesos han estado con nosotros durante miles de años”, dijo Gifford de Oldways. "Son como una gran literatura, danza y arquitectura, y vale la pena luchar por ellas".


Los amantes del queso hacen agujeros en posibles reglas sobre productos envejecidos

Las peticiones por caja se están acumulando en las tiendas especializadas en quesos de todo el país. Y la gente está loca.

"¡Este es solo un ejemplo más del gobierno que maneja nuestras vidas!" escribe un amante del queso enojado de Lexington, Kentucky. Un hombre de Applegate, Oregon, escribe: "Más estadounidenses han sucumbido a las hamburguesas de comida rápida contaminadas que los que se han enfermado por el Pecorino en la pasta".

Y, de un escritor de Minneapolis: “Grrrrrr. . . . ¿No es hora de que el gobierno actúe para prohibir algunas cosas que realmente causan daño a las personas? Me vienen a la mente la minería a cielo abierto y las pistolas ".

Se encuentran entre los miles que han reaccionado a lo que ven como un ataque inmerecido a uno de los íconos culinarios culturales más preciados del mundo: los quesos curados, esas creaciones aromáticas y sabrosas hechas con leche cruda.

El objeto de su ira es la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que está dando los primeros pasos tentativos para estudiar los posibles peligros para la salud de los quesos de leche cruda, lo que plantea la posibilidad real de una acción reguladora.

La perspectiva ha provocado una tormenta de fuego entre los aficionados al queso que ven manipular estos quesos como cortar una pintura de un viejo maestro o quemar la partitura original de una sinfonía clásica. Y, en medio de un debate presidencial sobre el papel apropiado del gobierno federal, la controversia está dando energía a quienes piensan que Washington es demasiado intrusivo.

“El gobierno está tratando de convertirnos en una nación de consumidores de Velveeta”, dijo K. Dun Gifford, quien dirige Oldways Preservation & amp Exchange Trust, un grupo con sede en Boston que busca preservar los alimentos tradicionales. "Es una regulación gubernamental enloquecida".

El gobierno de los EE. UU. Ha exigido durante mucho tiempo que los quesos frescos se fabriquen con leche pasteurizada. Pero hasta ahora no había límites en la venta de quesos curados elaborados con leche cruda sin pasteurizar porque se suponía que el proceso de envejecimiento mataría las bacterias dañinas.

Ahora, nuevos estudios han impulsado una revisión de la FDA sobre si el período mínimo de envejecimiento de 60 días es lo suficientemente largo para destruir organismos peligrosos y está estudiando una posible regulación: la pasteurización o una prohibición total se encuentran entre las opciones más drásticas de la agencia.

¿Gruyere, parmigiana, roquefort o pastor de Vermont pasteurizados? La idea envía un estremecimiento colectivo a los amantes del queso en todas partes.

Morder un queso de leche cruda perfectamente añejado "te da una idea de lo que los enólogos llaman terruño, que significa un 'sentido de lugar', de la tierra", dijo Ruth Flore, ex presidenta de la American Cheese Society. "Si te obligaron a pasteurizar, perderás ese sabor que te dice de dónde viene el queso".

Ari Weinzweig, propietario de la tienda especializada en alimentos Zingerman’s en Ann Arbor, Michigan, dijo que los consumidores merecen el derecho a tomar sus propias decisiones sobre si vale la pena correr el riesgo de comer estos quesos sin "tener que infringir la ley o volar a Europa".

La oposición a la intrusión de la FDA está tan extendida que los opositores han formado su propia organización. La Cheese of Choice Coalition, organizada por Oldways y la American Cheese Society, tiene un elenco pesado de tiendas y organizaciones de alimentos respetadas tanto aquí como en el extranjero. Estos incluyen Whole Foods Markets, que posee las tiendas de alimentos Bread and Circus y Fresh Fields Fairway Market en la ciudad de Nueva York y su gerente de quesos, Steve Jenkins, autor del libro "The Cheese Primer", la empresa láctea Neal's Yard Dairy, con sede en Londres, famoso exportador de quesos finos el Consorcio Parmigiana Reggiano, con sede en Parma, Italia, que exporta todo Parmigiana Reggiano a los Estados Unidos David Levine, gerente general de la tienda insignia Dean & amp DeLuca en la ciudad de Nueva York y Corby Kummer, reconocido columnista de alimentos de The Revista atlántica.

Los funcionarios de la FDA insisten en que no están tratando de quitarle los quesos favoritos de nadie y que la agencia solo está tratando de estar alerta durante una era de creciente ansiedad sobre la seguridad alimentaria. En los últimos años, con la aparición de bacterias recientemente identificadas, como E. coli 0157: H7, los brotes transmitidos por los alimentos han pasado de simplemente enfermar a las personas a matarlas.

“Nuestro negocio no es limitar las opciones del consumidor [sino] proteger la salud pública”, dijo Jack Mowbray, analista de políticas en la división de seguridad alimentaria de la FDA. "Preferimos evitar que ocurra un brote que responder a uno después del hecho".

Desde 1949, el gobierno ha prohibido la venta de quesos duros hechos con leche cruda a menos que hayan sido envejecidos durante al menos 60 días a 35 grados Fahrenheit. Pero recientemente, la FDA comenzó a preocuparse acerca de si la regulación merecía otra mirada.

La agencia se preocupó después de conocer algunos estudios, entre ellos una investigación de 1996 realizada en la Universidad Estatal de Dakota del Sur que mostró que E. coli 0157: H7 podría sobrevivir al período de envejecimiento de 60 días en el queso cheddar y varios estudios europeos que muestran resultados similares con otras dos bacterias. , salmonella y listeria.

La FDA preguntó a su Comité Asesor Nacional sobre Criterios Microbiológicos para Alimentos, un panel de expertos que asesora a la FDA y al Departamento de Agricultura, si los estudios deberían impulsar una revisión de la regulación actual. El panel dijo que sí.

La agencia patrocina su propia investigación, financiada por la iniciativa de seguridad alimentaria del presidente Clinton. Científicos del gobierno del Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria en Chicago están estudiando muestras de queso cheddar de leche cruda inyectadas con muestras de E. coli, incluidas las diferentes cepas del mortal 0157: H7, para ver qué les sucede durante el envejecimiento. proceso.

Hasta ahora, no ha habido brotes en los Estados Unidos asociados con el consumo de quesos de leche cruda. Pero Mowbray señaló que se han reportado brotes con quesos de leche cruda en Canadá y Europa, incluido uno grande en Canadá a mediados de la década de 1980 por salmonella y más de uno causado por E. coli en Europa.

Los resultados preliminares muestran que las bacterias perduran más de 60 días, pero Mowbray insistió en que la FDA no busca prohibir los quesos de leche cruda. "Solo estamos tratando de determinar qué tipo de problema tenemos".

Si los estudios confirman el problema, dijo Mowbray, la agencia primero consideraría varias opciones además de requerir la pasteurización o una prohibición total, como la subpasteurización, que implica el uso de una temperatura más baja.

Además, los funcionarios de la FDA están trabajando con el USDA para determinar el efecto de las prácticas agrícolas en los niveles de organismos en la leche cruda. "Puede haber formas de mantener los patógenos fuera de la leche cruda, mediante el cuidado especial de los animales de granja", dijo Mowbray.

Aquellos que se oponen a la investigación actual de la FDA podrían aceptar a regañadientes una etiqueta en el queso de leche cruda, siempre que se preserve el derecho de los consumidores a elegir.

“Estos quesos han estado con nosotros durante miles de años”, dijo Gifford de Oldways. “Son como una gran literatura, danza y arquitectura, y vale la pena luchar por ellas”.


Los amantes del queso hacen agujeros en posibles reglas sobre productos envejecidos

Las peticiones por caja se están acumulando en las tiendas de especialidades de queso en todo el país. Y la gente está loca.

"¡Este es solo un ejemplo más del gobierno que maneja nuestras vidas!" escribe un amante del queso enojado de Lexington, Kentucky. Un hombre de Applegate, Oregon, escribe: "Más estadounidenses han sucumbido a las hamburguesas de comida rápida contaminadas que los que se han enfermado por el Pecorino en la pasta".

Y, de un escritor de Minneapolis: “Grrrrrr. . . . ¿No es hora de que el gobierno actúe para prohibir algunas cosas que realmente causan daño a las personas? Me vienen a la mente la minería a cielo abierto y las pistolas ".

Se encuentran entre los miles que han reaccionado a lo que ven como un ataque inmerecido a uno de los íconos culinarios culturales más preciados del mundo: los quesos curados, esas creaciones aromáticas y sabrosas hechas con leche cruda.

El objeto de su ira es la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que está dando los primeros pasos tentativos para estudiar los posibles peligros para la salud de los quesos de leche cruda, lo que plantea la posibilidad real de una acción reguladora.

La perspectiva ha provocado una tormenta de fuego entre los aficionados al queso que ven manipular estos quesos como cortar una pintura de un viejo maestro o quemar la partitura original de una sinfonía clásica. Y, en medio de un debate presidencial sobre el papel apropiado del gobierno federal, la controversia está dando energía a quienes piensan que Washington es demasiado intrusivo.

“El gobierno está tratando de convertirnos en una nación de consumidores de Velveeta”, dijo K. Dun Gifford, quien dirige Oldways Preservation & amp Exchange Trust, un grupo con sede en Boston que busca preservar los alimentos tradicionales. "Es una regulación gubernamental enloquecida".

El gobierno de los EE. UU. Ha exigido durante mucho tiempo que los quesos frescos se fabriquen con leche pasteurizada. Pero hasta ahora no había límites en la venta de quesos curados elaborados con leche cruda sin pasteurizar porque se suponía que el proceso de envejecimiento mataría las bacterias dañinas.

Ahora, nuevos estudios han impulsado una revisión de la FDA sobre si el período mínimo de envejecimiento de 60 días es lo suficientemente largo para destruir organismos peligrosos y está estudiando una posible regulación: la pasteurización o una prohibición total se encuentran entre las opciones más drásticas de la agencia.

¿Gruyere, parmigiana, roquefort o pastor de Vermont pasteurizados? La idea envía un estremecimiento colectivo a los amantes del queso en todas partes.

Morder un queso de leche cruda perfectamente añejado "te da una idea de lo que los enólogos llaman terruño, que significa un 'sentido de lugar', de la tierra", dijo Ruth Flore, ex presidenta de la American Cheese Society. "Si te obligaron a pasteurizar, perderás ese sabor que te dice de dónde viene el queso".

Ari Weinzweig, propietario de la tienda especializada en alimentos Zingerman’s en Ann Arbor, Michigan, dijo que los consumidores merecen el derecho a tomar sus propias decisiones sobre si vale la pena correr el riesgo de comer estos quesos sin "tener que infringir la ley o volar a Europa".

La oposición a la intrusión de la FDA está tan extendida que los opositores han formado su propia organización. La Cheese of Choice Coalition, organizada por Oldways y la American Cheese Society, tiene un elenco pesado de tiendas y organizaciones de alimentos respetadas tanto aquí como en el extranjero. Estos incluyen Whole Foods Markets, que posee las tiendas de alimentos Bread and Circus y Fresh Fields Fairway Market en la ciudad de Nueva York y su gerente de quesos, Steve Jenkins, autor del libro "The Cheese Primer", la empresa láctea Neal's Yard Dairy, con sede en Londres, famoso exportador de quesos finos el Consorcio Parmigiana Reggiano, con sede en Parma, Italia, que exporta todo Parmigiana Reggiano a los Estados Unidos David Levine, gerente general de la tienda insignia Dean & amp DeLuca en la ciudad de Nueva York y Corby Kummer, reconocido columnista de alimentos de The Revista atlántica.

Los funcionarios de la FDA insisten en que no están tratando de quitarle los quesos favoritos de nadie y que la agencia solo está tratando de estar alerta durante una era de creciente ansiedad sobre la seguridad alimentaria. En los últimos años, con la aparición de bacterias recientemente identificadas, como E. coli 0157: H7, los brotes transmitidos por los alimentos han pasado de simplemente enfermar a las personas a matarlas.

“Nuestro negocio no es limitar las opciones del consumidor [sino] proteger la salud pública”, dijo Jack Mowbray, analista de políticas en la división de seguridad alimentaria de la FDA. "Preferimos evitar que ocurra un brote que responder a uno después del hecho".

Desde 1949, el gobierno ha prohibido la venta de quesos duros elaborados con leche cruda a menos que hayan sido envejecidos durante al menos 60 días a 35 grados Fahrenheit. Pero recientemente, la FDA comenzó a preocuparse acerca de si la regulación merecía otra mirada.

La agencia se preocupó después de conocer algunos estudios, entre ellos una investigación de 1996 realizada en la Universidad Estatal de Dakota del Sur que mostró que E. coli 0157: H7 podría sobrevivir al período de envejecimiento de 60 días en el queso cheddar y varios estudios europeos que muestran resultados similares con otras dos bacterias. , salmonella y listeria.

La FDA preguntó a su Comité Asesor Nacional sobre Criterios Microbiológicos para Alimentos, un panel de expertos que asesora a la FDA y al Departamento de Agricultura, si los estudios deberían impulsar una revisión de la regulación actual. El panel dijo que sí.

La agencia patrocina su propia investigación, financiada por la iniciativa de seguridad alimentaria del presidente Clinton. Científicos del gobierno del Centro Nacional de Tecnología y Seguridad Alimentaria en Chicago están estudiando muestras de queso cheddar de leche cruda inyectadas con muestras de E. coli, incluidas las diferentes cepas del mortal 0157: H7, para ver qué les sucede durante el envejecimiento. proceso.

Hasta ahora, no ha habido brotes en los Estados Unidos asociados con el consumo de quesos de leche cruda. Pero Mowbray señaló que se han reportado brotes con quesos de leche cruda en Canadá y Europa, incluido uno grande en Canadá a mediados de la década de 1980 por salmonella y más de uno causado por E. coli en Europa.

Los resultados preliminares muestran que las bacterias perduran más de 60 días, pero Mowbray insistió en que la FDA no busca prohibir los quesos de leche cruda. "Solo estamos tratando de determinar qué tipo de problema tenemos".

Si los estudios confirman el problema, dijo Mowbray, la agencia primero consideraría varias opciones además de requerir la pasteurización o una prohibición total, como la subpasteurización, que implica el uso de una temperatura más baja.

Además, los funcionarios de la FDA están trabajando con el USDA para determinar el efecto de las prácticas agrícolas en los niveles de organismos en la leche cruda. "Puede haber formas de mantener los patógenos fuera de la leche cruda, mediante el cuidado especial de los animales de granja", dijo Mowbray.

Aquellos que se oponen a la investigación actual de la FDA podrían aceptar a regañadientes una etiqueta en el queso de leche cruda, siempre que se preserve el derecho de los consumidores a elegir.

“Estos quesos han estado con nosotros durante miles de años”, dijo Gifford de Oldways. "Son como una gran literatura, danza y arquitectura, y vale la pena luchar por ellas".


Los amantes del queso hacen agujeros en posibles reglas sobre productos envejecidos

Las peticiones por caja se están acumulando en las tiendas especializadas en quesos de todo el país. Y la gente está loca.

"¡Este es solo un ejemplo más del gobierno que maneja nuestras vidas!" escribe un amante del queso enojado de Lexington, Kentucky. Un hombre de Applegate, Oregon, escribe: "Más estadounidenses han sucumbido a las hamburguesas de comida rápida contaminadas que los que se han enfermado por el Pecorino en la pasta".

Y, de un escritor de Minneapolis: “Grrrrrr. . . . ¿No es hora de que el gobierno actúe para prohibir algunas cosas que realmente causan daño a las personas? Me vienen a la mente la minería a cielo abierto y las pistolas ".

Se encuentran entre los miles que han reaccionado a lo que ven como un ataque inmerecido a uno de los íconos culinarios culturales más preciados del mundo: los quesos curados, esas creaciones aromáticas y sabrosas hechas con leche cruda.

El objeto de su ira es la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos, que está dando los primeros pasos tentativos para estudiar los posibles peligros para la salud de los quesos de leche cruda, lo que plantea la posibilidad real de una acción reguladora.

La perspectiva ha provocado una tormenta de fuego entre los aficionados al queso que ven manipular estos quesos como cortar una pintura de un viejo maestro o quemar la partitura original de una sinfonía clásica. Y, en medio de un debate presidencial sobre el papel apropiado del gobierno federal, la controversia está dando energía a quienes piensan que Washington es demasiado intrusivo.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


Cheese Lovers Poke Holes in Possible Rules on Aged Products

Petitions by the boxful are stacking up in cheese specialty stores across the nation. And people are mad.

“This is just one more instance of the government running our lives!” writes one angry cheese lover from Lexington, Ky. A man from Applegate, Ore., writes: “More Americans have succumbed to contaminated fast-food hamburgers than have fallen ill from Pecorino on pasta.”

And, from a Minneapolis writer: “Grrrrrr. . . . Isn’t it time the government acted to ban some stuff that actually causes people harm? Strip mining and handguns come to mind.”

They are among thousands who have reacted to what they see as an undeserved attack on one of the world’s most treasured cultural food icons--aged cheeses, those aromatic, flavorful creations made from raw milk.

The object of their ire is the Food and Drug Administration, which is taking the first tentative steps to study the possible health hazards of raw milk cheeses, raising the real possibility of regulatory action.

The prospect has ignited a firestorm among cheese aficionados who see tampering with these cheeses as akin to slashing a painting by an Old Master or burning the original score of a classic symphony. And, amid a presidential debate on the appropriate role for the federal government, the controversy is giving energy to those who think that Washington is overly intrusive.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


Cheese Lovers Poke Holes in Possible Rules on Aged Products

Petitions by the boxful are stacking up in cheese specialty stores across the nation. And people are mad.

“This is just one more instance of the government running our lives!” writes one angry cheese lover from Lexington, Ky. A man from Applegate, Ore., writes: “More Americans have succumbed to contaminated fast-food hamburgers than have fallen ill from Pecorino on pasta.”

And, from a Minneapolis writer: “Grrrrrr. . . . Isn’t it time the government acted to ban some stuff that actually causes people harm? Strip mining and handguns come to mind.”

They are among thousands who have reacted to what they see as an undeserved attack on one of the world’s most treasured cultural food icons--aged cheeses, those aromatic, flavorful creations made from raw milk.

The object of their ire is the Food and Drug Administration, which is taking the first tentative steps to study the possible health hazards of raw milk cheeses, raising the real possibility of regulatory action.

The prospect has ignited a firestorm among cheese aficionados who see tampering with these cheeses as akin to slashing a painting by an Old Master or burning the original score of a classic symphony. And, amid a presidential debate on the appropriate role for the federal government, the controversy is giving energy to those who think that Washington is overly intrusive.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


Cheese Lovers Poke Holes in Possible Rules on Aged Products

Petitions by the boxful are stacking up in cheese specialty stores across the nation. And people are mad.

“This is just one more instance of the government running our lives!” writes one angry cheese lover from Lexington, Ky. A man from Applegate, Ore., writes: “More Americans have succumbed to contaminated fast-food hamburgers than have fallen ill from Pecorino on pasta.”

And, from a Minneapolis writer: “Grrrrrr. . . . Isn’t it time the government acted to ban some stuff that actually causes people harm? Strip mining and handguns come to mind.”

They are among thousands who have reacted to what they see as an undeserved attack on one of the world’s most treasured cultural food icons--aged cheeses, those aromatic, flavorful creations made from raw milk.

The object of their ire is the Food and Drug Administration, which is taking the first tentative steps to study the possible health hazards of raw milk cheeses, raising the real possibility of regulatory action.

The prospect has ignited a firestorm among cheese aficionados who see tampering with these cheeses as akin to slashing a painting by an Old Master or burning the original score of a classic symphony. And, amid a presidential debate on the appropriate role for the federal government, the controversy is giving energy to those who think that Washington is overly intrusive.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


Cheese Lovers Poke Holes in Possible Rules on Aged Products

Petitions by the boxful are stacking up in cheese specialty stores across the nation. And people are mad.

“This is just one more instance of the government running our lives!” writes one angry cheese lover from Lexington, Ky. A man from Applegate, Ore., writes: “More Americans have succumbed to contaminated fast-food hamburgers than have fallen ill from Pecorino on pasta.”

And, from a Minneapolis writer: “Grrrrrr. . . . Isn’t it time the government acted to ban some stuff that actually causes people harm? Strip mining and handguns come to mind.”

They are among thousands who have reacted to what they see as an undeserved attack on one of the world’s most treasured cultural food icons--aged cheeses, those aromatic, flavorful creations made from raw milk.

The object of their ire is the Food and Drug Administration, which is taking the first tentative steps to study the possible health hazards of raw milk cheeses, raising the real possibility of regulatory action.

The prospect has ignited a firestorm among cheese aficionados who see tampering with these cheeses as akin to slashing a painting by an Old Master or burning the original score of a classic symphony. And, amid a presidential debate on the appropriate role for the federal government, the controversy is giving energy to those who think that Washington is overly intrusive.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


Cheese Lovers Poke Holes in Possible Rules on Aged Products

Petitions by the boxful are stacking up in cheese specialty stores across the nation. And people are mad.

“This is just one more instance of the government running our lives!” writes one angry cheese lover from Lexington, Ky. A man from Applegate, Ore., writes: “More Americans have succumbed to contaminated fast-food hamburgers than have fallen ill from Pecorino on pasta.”

And, from a Minneapolis writer: “Grrrrrr. . . . Isn’t it time the government acted to ban some stuff that actually causes people harm? Strip mining and handguns come to mind.”

They are among thousands who have reacted to what they see as an undeserved attack on one of the world’s most treasured cultural food icons--aged cheeses, those aromatic, flavorful creations made from raw milk.

The object of their ire is the Food and Drug Administration, which is taking the first tentative steps to study the possible health hazards of raw milk cheeses, raising the real possibility of regulatory action.

The prospect has ignited a firestorm among cheese aficionados who see tampering with these cheeses as akin to slashing a painting by an Old Master or burning the original score of a classic symphony. And, amid a presidential debate on the appropriate role for the federal government, the controversy is giving energy to those who think that Washington is overly intrusive.

“The government is trying to turn us into a nation of Velveeta eaters,” said K. Dun Gifford, who heads Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, a Boston-based group that seeks to preserve traditional foods. “It’s government regulation run amok.”

The U.S. government has long required fresh cheeses to be made from pasteurized milk. But until now there were no limits on the sale of aged cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized milk because it was assumed that the aging process would kill harmful bacteria.

Now, new studies have prompted an FDA review of whether the minimum 60-day aging period is long enough to destroy dangerous organisms and it is studying possible regulation--pasteurization or an outright ban being among the agency’s most drastic options.

Pasteurized Gruyere, Parmigiana, Roquefort or Vermont Shepherd? The idea sends a collective shudder through cheese lovers everywhere.

To bite into a perfectly aged raw milk cheese “brings you a sense of what winemakers call terroir, which means a ‘sense of place,’ of the land,” said Ruth Flore, a past president of the American Cheese Society. “If you were forced to pasteurize, you’re going to lose that flavor that tells you where the cheese comes from.”

Ari Weinzweig, owner of the food specialty store Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., said that consumers deserve the right to make their own decisions about whether eating these cheeses is worth the risk without “having to break the law or fly to Europe.”

So widespread is opposition to the FDA intrusion that opponents have formed their own organization. The Cheese of Choice Coalition, organized by Oldways and the American Cheese Society, has a heavyweight cast of respected food shops and organizations both here and abroad. These include Whole Foods Markets, which owns Bread and Circus and Fresh Fields food stores Fairway Market in New York City and its cheese manager, Steve Jenkins, author of the book “The Cheese Primer” the London-based Neal’s Yard Dairy, a world-famous exporter of fine cheeses the Parmigiana Reggiano Consortium, based in Parma, Italy, which exports all Parmigiana Reggiano to the United States David Levine, general manager of the Dean & DeLuca flagship store in New York City and Corby Kummer, renowned food columnist for The Atlantic magazine.

FDA officials insist that they are not trying to take away anyone’s favorite cheeses and that the agency is only trying to be vigilant during an era of escalating anxiety about food safety. In recent years, with the emergence of newly identified bacteria, such as E. coli 0157:H7, food-borne outbreaks have gone from merely sickening people to killing them.

“Our business is not to limit consumer choice [but] to protect the public health,” said Jack Mowbray, a policy analyst in the FDA’s division of food safety. “We would rather prevent an outbreak from occurring than respond to one after the fact.”

Since 1949, the government has forbidden the sale of hard cheeses made from raw milk unless they have been aged for at least 60 days at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But recently the FDA began to worry about whether the regulation deserved another look.

The agency became concerned after learning about some studies, among them 1996 research conducted at South Dakota State University that showed E. coli 0157:H7 could survive the 60-day aging period in cheddar cheese and several European studies showing similar results with two other bacteria, salmonella and listeria.

The FDA asked its National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food, a panel of experts that advises the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, whether the studies should prompt a review of the current regulation. The panel said yes.

The agency is sponsoring its own research, funded by President Clinton’s food safety initiative. Government scientists at the National Center of Food Safety and Technology in Chicago are studying samples of raw milk cheddar cheese injected with samples of E. coli, including the several different strains of the deadly 0157:H7, to see what happens to them during the aging process.

Thus far, there have been no outbreaks in the United States associated with eating raw milk cheeses. But Mowbray pointed out that there have been outbreaks reported with raw milk cheeses in Canada and Europe, including a large one in Canada in the mid-1980s from salmonella and more than one caused by E. coli in Europe.

Preliminary results show that the bacteria do endure beyond 60 days, but Mowbray insisted that the FDA is not looking to ban raw milk cheeses. “We are just trying to determine what kind of problem we have.”

If the studies confirm the problem, Mowbray said, the agency first would consider several options short of requiring pasteurization or an outright ban, such as sub-pasteurization, which involves using a lower temperature.

Also, FDA officials are working with the USDA to determine the effect of farm practices on levels of organisms in raw milk. “There may be ways to keep the pathogens out of the raw milk, through special care of farm animals,” Mowbray said.

Those who oppose the FDA’s current investigation might grudgingly accept a label on raw milk cheese, as long as consumers’ right to choose is preserved.

“These cheeses have been with us for thousands of years,” said Gifford of Oldways. “They are like great literature and dance and architecture--and every bit as worth fighting for.”


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