9 Aug 2008

Food authority may allow raw milk in cheese

5:40 pm on 9 August 2008

The Food Safety Authority is looking at changing its regulations to allow cheese from raw milk products to be made and sold in New Zealand.

At present, cheeses must be made from pasteurised milk, which has been heated to kill potentially deadly pathogens such as listeria.

Last year, the authority changed the rules to allow the importation of a limited variety of cheeses made from unpasteurised milk.

Standards director Carol Barnao says the proposal to change the regulations is at the request of New Zealand cheese-makers.

Ms Barnao says changes to the regulations would also allow for raw milk cheeses to be produced from animals other than cows.

The Specialist Cheesemakers Association says there has been a lot of interest from cheese-makers and members of the public in raw milk cheeses.

The authority has issued a discussion document on the proposed changes. Submissions close at the end of September.