Department of Agriculture - Ohio Manufacture Milk Rules - Operations and operating procedures.

Published: 2016-02-21

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(A) The natural cheese shall be cleaned free of all nonedible portions including paraffin, bandages, rind surface mold, unclean areas, or any other part which is unwholesome or unappetizing.

(B) Forming containers either lined or unlined shall be assembled and stored in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination. The handling of containers shall be done with extreme care and in a sanitary manner. Preforming and assembling of pouch liners and containers shall be kept to a minimum. The supply shall be rotated to limit exposure to possible contamination prior to filling.

(C) Container filling.

(1) Hot fluid cheese from the cookers may be held in hot wells or hoppers to assure a constant and even supply of processed cheese to the filler or slice former.

(2) Filler valves shall effectively measure the desired amount of product into the pouch or container in a sanitary manner and shall cut off sharply without drip or drag of cheese across the opening.

(3) An effective system shall be used to maintain accurate and precise weight control.

(4) Damaged or unsatisfactory packages shall be removed from production. Cheese may be salvaged into sanitary containers and added back to cookers.

(5) The filling of small containers with product shall be done in a sanitary manner. The containers shall not contaminate or detract from the quality of the product in any way.

(6) After filling, the container shall be hermetically sealed. Bulk containers for unsterilized product shall be suitable and adequate to protect the product in storage or transit.

(7) The bulk container (including bulk tankers) shall be cleaned and sanitized before filling, and filled and closed in a sanitary manner.

(D) When filling aseptic product, the previously sterilized product shall be filled under conditions which prevent contamination of the product by living organisms or spores. Prior to being filled, the containers shall be sterilized and maintained in a sterile condition. The containers shall be sealed in a manner that prevents contamination of the product.