REHIS, as part of the Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee (SFELC) has endorsed guidance produced by SFELC’s Joint Specialist Cheese & Risky Foods Short-Life Working Group on the production of cheese from unpasteurised milk. 

The guidance is the output of thousands of hours of work focussed on controlling the microbiological risks in the production of artisan cheeses made from unpasteurised milk, specifically Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) including E coli O157.  

The guidance applies to all establishments producing cheese from unpasteurised milk from made from cows, goats, sheep and buffalo.

Cheese made from unpasteurised milk has been linked to outbreaks of human illness and in particular, illness caused by STEC organisms including E Coli O157. The guidance has been developed in relation to the control of STEC and is intended for use during the inspection and enforcement of food safety controls applied by cheesemakers producing cheese made from unpasteurised milk.

The guidance reflects current scientific knowledge and understanding in relation to STEC and the production of cheese from unpasteurised milk. As scientific information and evidence on STEC evolves, the guidance will be reviewed. In addition, the guidance will complete a pilot implementation phase before a scheduled review.  

REHIS welcomes the introduction of the guidance and will continue to support the work of SFELC and its working groups on the production of guidance and standards that maintain and improve public health.

The “Guidance for Local Authority Enforcement Officers on the Production of Cheese from Unpasteurised Milk” can be accessed here.