Raw Milk Post-Pasteur

Safe And Sane Food Policy: Fix The Causes To Fix The Results

From my Column in the Cheese Reporter​

Volume 141, No. 25, December 18, 2016

In my last column I shared how changes in food policy at the FDA are laying the foundation for a safer food supply. Science, prevention, managing risks, and improving processes, is the right path. We have been snookered by specifications, arbitrary targets, and homespun solutions for too long. We pay too much attention to the noise, and not enough to what is really going on. We need to stop chasing phantoms, and focus on what is, as I advise in my book, “REAL.”

The “method” I have used to do this, Continual Improvement, adapted for farm work using little more than a pencil and paper, teamwork and some horse sense, solves sticky problems our current food safety system finds difficult to address.

I was consulting with a cheese factory whose raw milk cheeses began to explode. The milk came from a single farm who had sought the help of the authorities, but were refused.

The farm was meeting all of its required standards and had passed their inspections so until someone got sick, there was no obvious threat to public health. (A bit like waiting until the heart attack to cut back on using salt.)

Working with a cheese technologist and a professor in the hope of finding the cause, I applied tools of Quality Improvement, in which I am trained. Other cheese plants, who worked with pasteurized milk, were having the same problem.

The professor formed a hypothesis, after testing did not reveal the usual suspects: the germ causing the cheese to explode was a mutation, either a coliform or a fecal strep and had developed the ability to survive pasteurization. Since the problem was widespread, it had nothing to do with using raw milk. The question was, at what stage of their process was the mutation contaminating the milk? “Fix the Cause, Change the Result.”

Other Strongin Articles written for Cheese Reporter Safe And Sane Food Policy A Ray Of Hope For A More Effective Food Safety Policy In Her Own Words - Linnea Burnham
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, But Not Always For the Better! Loyal Customers On Customers, Guests & Winners! Another Year, Another Cheddar...the Book Some Things Matter The Future is Social! All That Glitters: Social Media Marketing Frenzy An Interview With Artisan Cheese Pioneer: Neville McNaughton End of Another Year On Mushrooms, Cheese, Management And Marketing Don’t Waste Your Time With Big Data LaClare Farms Collaborationists in our Industry!
Risk Management vs. Risk Prevention Jack Booted Cheese Thugs Towards a Safer Food Supply Lies, Damned Lies and Dairy Safety: How Poorly Applied Statistics Could Lead to the Worse Public Policy Is Dairy Safe Is The Wrong Question, Part 1 Not All Data Is Information Start From Where You Are Learning About Your Customer The Vision Thing Customer Service? NOT! Collaboration: The Road To A Better Future Resolution Water In Memoriam: Ignazio Vella 1928-2011 Of Cheese, Seals, And Deming In Their Own Words: Lettie Kilmoyer In Their Own Words: Fritz Maytag In Their Own Words: Paula Lambert
Show Me the Money: Cost Accounting Cost Accounting Chokes, Part 2: Inventory
Cost Accounting Is Choking Your Business, Part 1 It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over Raw Reason A Story For The Holiday Season, Part II A Story For The Holiday Season Truth In Labeling This Too Shall Pass or "What were we thinking?" Marketing Language That Resonates
When Will We Ever Learn? Cheese Competitions In The Context Of Marketing
Economy
Even The Best Laid Plans Go Astray
Root Causes: Communication
Partners
Diamond Cutting: It's What You Don't Know That Can Hurt You
Integrity and Ethics Pricing: The Perceived Value Designing the Effective Sell Sheet Common Sense It All Begins in The Mouth Of Cars... The Gathering Storm As Our Industry Evolves, So Should Our Terminology: Other Cheese Reporter Guest Columnists Visit John Umhoefer Visit Neville McNaughton

About the Author

I began my work life as a Chef in private clubs, restaurants, and hotels. I was trained at the Ritz and rose to Executive Sous Chef. It was there I first learned to value quality and building teams. I spent ten years working for an independent upscale supermarket as an executive. I helped engineer the creation of a new niche in a highly competitive industry, American Artisan Cheese. Currently, I help small businesses grow without losing who they are, I love my work, am good at it, and ask a lot of questions. Let's make your business better together!