Recommendations and Outcomes from the First Artisan Cheese Food Safety Forum

Dennis J. D’Amico

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 332-339, Sep 2017

Volume 37, Issue 5: Pages 332–339

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Increasing consumer interest and demand for artisan and farmstead cheese has allowed dairy producers another option for selling and marketing unique milk products from the farm, both locally and nationally. Food safety concerns are often attributed to the fact that many of these businesses are small to very small establishments and may lack the resources, capital, and technical expertise to implement robust food safety programs and related technology. With that, there is an increasing need for artisan cheese-specific food safety education, training, and outreach. The first Artisan Cheese Food Safety Forum was held to foster collaboration among stakeholders representing academia, cheesemakers, regulators, industry and trade associations, retail and foodservice channels, and consultants. The forum was comprised, in part, of a series of presentations that have been previously summarized. In addition, qualitative and quantitative data were collected through a survey tool, a questionnaire, and focus groups to identify research, education and extension needs to proactively advance the safety of artisan and farmstead cheese. The consortium of 85 participants identified training and outreach opportunities and challenges, developed recommendations for future priorities to address critical food safety concerns, and established collaborative groups to identify and address action items.

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