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Raw Milk Cheese Production Gets the Go Ahead

By Diane Cordemans | Epoch Times

Whitestone would experiment with different styles of cheese, including variations of its core white mould range. (Rob Elliott/AFP/Getty/Images)
NEW ZEALAND—Raw milk cheeses, emmental and rocquefort, are already being imported into New Zealand, but they will soon be joined by varieties produced by our local cheesemakers.

Cheesemakers will be able to begin production of cheese made from unpasteurized or raw milk from October 1 when new standards come into force.

New Zealand producers can make raw milk cheese that would equal any cheese made by European producers, says Miss Wilkinson, Minister of Food Safety in a press release.

“This is about leveling the playing field and recognising we have some incredibly passionate cheesemakers in New Zealand.

"The changes mean a greater variety of cheeses will be available for food lovers here, while also opening up business opportunities for the dairy industry.

"It makes sense that our own industry should be able to make the products that we allow to be imported."

“It’s tremendous news for our cheesemakers and fantastic for consumers,” said Bob Berry, managing director of Oamaru-based Whitestone Cheese. “When you pasteurize, you’re killing off a lot of the flavor-making bacteria and replacing that with starter cultures.”

Whitestone would experiment with different styles of cheese, including variations of its core white mould range, Mr. Berry said.

Still, adopting raw milk would depend on the regulatory costs, which could end up being “very high” and deterring smaller producers.

Health officials say there are risks from bacteria in untreated milk and are advising expectant women, young children, older people and people with immune system disorders to avoid raw cheeses.

 

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