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Old 05-31-2012, 05:34 PM   #1
smokjunkee
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Default Cheese Safety

Ok, I'm very much a noob to this cheese-making thing. I come from a food-service backround so food temp. safety/danger zones are an everyday priority. So, after reading a couple books, making a couple batches of cheese(the latest aging in my homemade cave), I got to thinking about the temps. & RH these guys age at, sometimes for many,many months.
What is it that makes the cheese safe sitting at 52-55 ferenheit, which is in the temp. danger zone for food pathogens? I didn't seem to come across that topic in any of the books I have. Just curious.
SJ

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Old 06-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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i think it is the good bacteria in the cultures. I know that raw milk cheese has to be aged for a certain period of time because supposedly it gives them time to... kill off all of the harmful bacteria (or something).

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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I don't know the answer, but the convo brought this to mind...

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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a lot of it comes down to cultured bacteria vs wild bacteria. Same as cultured yeasts vs wild yeasts, wild = not good.

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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Try telling that to the centuries of cheesemaking craft using nothing but wild bacteria

It's more so about knowing the risks and managing them.

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Old 06-12-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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Ah yes...Chef!

Serious Profession

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Old 06-12-2012, 03:57 AM   #7
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I just watch out for the sharp cheese especially the extra sharp.

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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Cut it out...

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokjunkee View Post
What is it that makes the cheese safe sitting at 52-55 ferenheit, which is in the temp. danger zone for food pathogens? I didn't seem to come across that topic in any of the books I have. Just curious.
SJ
What makes cheese safe under those conditions is making sure that there are no pathogens present before the cheese gets stored under those conditions and that there are no pathogens present in that environment.

Yeah I hear all the pro fresh milk cheese making loby crying out, but when was the last time you heard of some poor kid dieing from eating cheese. Yeah unpasteurised cheese might have some unique flavours but is it realy worth the risk.

Pasteurise your milk, mature it in a hygienic environment, refirgerate it as soon as maturation is complete and sleep at night knowing your not going to kill someone with your home made cheese.

Treat cheese making like your brewing. Everything pre boil is pretty flexible but post boil (pasteurisation) be very, very careful. High yeast population (high good bacteria) and corect storage conditions and you should be right.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:47 AM   #10
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Milk does not need to be pasteurised to make a safe cheese. Often, a better cheese is achieved without pasteurisation. The danger zone is the temperature where pathogens like the deadly botulinum thrive, which lives in an anaerobic environment. I.e inside the cheese. These are not killed off before you approach temperatures of 140~. These pathogens do not occur until at earliest 4 hours in the danger zone, which is why a rule of thumb is chucking food that has held a temperature of 55-140 for over for hours.

Pasteurising/autoclaving the said product does not help against fatalities, as botulinum produces a nerve toxin that isn't denatured until 176 degrees. However, to make matters worse, the spores of botulinum can survive boiling water. People die all the time from eating food with botulinum toxin, however, rarely do cheeses feature this as the temperatures used are not in the danger zone and the magic fact that botulinum cannot use lactose as food.

Food safety is important, but due to the environment a cheese provides to bacteria, pathogens are very rare. 6 cases of food poisoning by cheese in the last 40 years and over 100 billion lbs of cheese consumed.

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