Voluntary Guidance on Improving the Safety of Soft and Semi-Soft Cheese made from Unpasteurized Milk

Bureau of Microbial hazards
Food Directorate
Health Products and Food Branch

Issue Date: July 2015

Summary

Health Canada and the United States Food and Drug Administration have recently completed a quantitative assessment of the risk of listeriosis from soft-ripened cheese consumption. The risk assessment shows the potential for an increased risk of listeriosis from consuming cheese made from raw milk compared to soft-ripened cheese made from pasteurized milk.

In view of this new information, Health Canada is providing advice to manufacturers of soft and semi-soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk (unpasteurized source). Although the risk is low, Health Canada is sharing advice with manufacturers that they may want to take into account when producing soft and semi-soft cheeses made from raw and unpasteurized milk. This advice is intended to further mitigate potential health risks associated with the production and consumption of these types of cheeses while Health Canada gathers information that will be considered in the development of policy and/or regulatory options in the coming months.

Health Canada welcomes feedback and any additional information from stakeholders on the advice found in this guidance document as well as interventions and best practices used to safely produce soft and semi-soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. The Department will use this feedback to inform policy and regulatory approaches moving forward.

Guidance Document

To obtain an electronic copy of the document, Voluntary Guidance on Improving the Safety of Soft and Semi-Soft Cheese made from Unpasteurized Milk, please contact our publication office or send an e-mail to publications@hc-sc.gc.ca with the subject heading "HPFB Guidance Soft and Semi-Soft Cheese".

Contact Information

If you wish to contact the Bureau of Microbial hazards, Food Directorate electronically, please use the words "Soft and Semi-Soft Cheese" in the subject line of your e-mail.

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