Raw-milk cheese debate, talk to me in 60

Sixty days. That's how long the FDA makes us wait for raw-milk cheese. Dating back to the 1940s, the 60-day stamp of approval came into play when it was first believed that a long drying process, along with enzymes and salts, would naturally preventing listeria, salmonella, and E. coli from growing and ruining your grilled cheese sandwich experience. However, recent studies have shown listeria and E. coli can survive in cheese beyond 60 days. Gasp.

It's the same debate as raw milk: many farmers, cheesemakers and consumers believe that pasteurizing the milk kills beneficial bacteria and alters the flavor. Federal lawmakers, however, want to keep the list of "death by cheese" as low as possible and require all cheeses made in the U.S. be from pasteurized milk, or aged 60 days if made with raw-milk.

I don't think the 60-day rule is such a bad thing. For cheeses like Cheddar, Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gruyere the aging process is at least 60 days in rooms that are 50 degrees F. with 85 percent humidity anyhow, so the American versions aren't really missing out on anything. It's the soft cheeses like ricotta, Brie and chèvre that get the short end of the curd slicer in the 60-day deal.

So how can we have our raw milk cheese and eat it, too? Expert cheesemakers are voting for food safety vigilance in creameries across the United States, with rigorous HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) plans in place that require frequent inspections and on-site bacteria testing.

And I think that could work well in small operations that produce local, organic artisan cheeses. Which is how it should be: small, local creameries producing specialty cheeses that are so unique, you can pinpoint the grass and clover essence in the cheese, according to region or season.

But when the big companies want in on the artisan trend and decide that marketing is more worthwhile than local and organic, we start to have a problem. When supply and demand meets greed, the food safety system suffers.

I confessed earlier I couldn't bring myself to drink raw milk. However, I feel differently about raw milk cheese as long as it's mature. I'm a fan of the 1940s 60-day rule and don't mind waiting for a good raw milk Cheddar. But unless I'm on a hillside in Italy with lactating sheep grazing next to me, I'm not eating the raw milk ricotta made here in the U.S.

What do you think? Do you agree with the possibly outdated 60-day law or are you a supporter of the raw milk option for all cheeses? And what raw milk cheeses have you enjoyed (and lived to tell us about)?

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]