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US FDA Launches Pilot Testing Study for Raw Milk Cheese

On 19 December 2013 the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) announced that they would launch a pilot testing program to sample and test domestic and imported raw milk cheese aged at least 60 days1. Testing started in January 2014 and will last throughout 2014.

1,600 total samples will be tested of which 70% will be imported product and 30% will be domestically made product. Product will be tested anywhere along the supplier chain for domestic product whereas imported product will be tested at the point of entry. Samples will be tested for Salmonella species, Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7.2  Results of the pilot study will be published after the end of the pilot study so the earliest will be January 2015. Imported product that tests positive for one or more pathogen will be placed on the import alert 12-103 which is to block cheese with microbiological contamination from entering the US. Domestic products with confirmed pathogens will be subject to a recall or market recovery depending if the product is or is not under the control of the manufacture.

US FDA completed and ongoing risk assessment projects4

The US FDA has various risk assessment projects that are ongoing. Currently the US FDA is collecting scientific data on Hepatitis A Virus in Produce, Transmission of Norovirus, Listeria in Fresh Produce and Pathogens and Filth in Spices in addition to the Pathogens in Raw-Milk Cheese project. Some of these projects are performed with other US government agencies, countries, universities and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)5.

JIFSAN at foodrisk.org was developed to “assist professionals involved with the many aspects of risk analysis as it pertains to the safety of” food. One of the programs available at foodrisk.org is the FDA-iRisk comparative risk assessment tool, which will enable users to predict effectiveness of prevention and control measures and compare and rank risks from multiple foodborne microbial and chemical hazards.

SGS is committed to keeping you informed of regulatory news and developments. Leveraging our global network of laboratories and food experts, SGS provides a comprehensive range of food safety and quality solutions including analytical testing, audits, certifications, inspections and technical support. We continually invest in our world class testing capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to help you reduce risks, and improve food safety and quality. For further information please visit our website http://www.foodsafety.sgs.com/.


1 EU Sees Favorable Medium-Term Prospects For Dairy Commodities

2 FDA Launching Pilot Testing Program for Raw Milk Cheese

3 Import Alert 12-10

4 Completed and Ongoing Risk Assessment Projects at CFSAN

5 foodrisk.org

6 FDA-iRISK®: a Comparative Risk Assessment Tool

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg.hk@sgs.com for enquiries or visit http://www.hk.sgs.com/.

Content provided by SGS Hong Kong Limited
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