- Review the ACS BOK Domain Four – Cheese Storage and Transportation
- Supply Chain – From milk to consumer, consider every point where storing the cheese properly is important.
- Cold Chain – maintaining proper temperature all along the supply chain is critical. If too cold, too cold, fluctuating changes all affect the cheese and its integrity. From producer; in transit to retailer.
- Cold chain is 34°F to 41°F with 38°F being the ideal temperature for storing cheese.
- Packaging that allows the cheese to breathe is ideal packaging; it also allows air flow.
- Breathable packaging includes paper, wax paper, cheese paper such as Formaticum, cardboard, wood and semi-permeable plastic.
- Non-breathable packaging completely protects the cheese and keeps it from being exposed to harmful bacteria and other undesirable items including water, chemicals, dirt, etc.
- When cheese leaves the producer it should be at proper cold chain temperature; wrapped and packed in a manner that will protect it in transit to the retailer; include batch number, date of production and other necessary information (in the event of a recall); moisture content for retailer (dictates which cheeses can be displayed out of refrigeration).
- Best methods for storage during transportation include: air ship with proper packing and ice packs; delivery by refrigerated trucks and/or coolers; include retailer mandates for receiving cheese; know government regulations (will be covered more in Domain 9).
- Storage at distributor facilities: FIFO, rotation of stock; cold chain storage between 34 and 38°F; comply with all local standards (again more in Domain 9); keep cheese cool and away from fans, which will dry it out; maintain proper inventory control for optimum health of the cheese.
- Storage at retail level: Rotate stock; FIFO; cold chain storage between 34 and 38°F; comply with all local standards (again more in Domain 9); keep cheese cool and away from fans, which will dry it out; maintain proper inventory control for optimum health of the cheese; wrap and re-wrap to maintain optimum health of the cheese.
- Paper for wrapping: perforated 2 ply with waxy finish
- Plastic should only be when necessary when cheese will be sold and consumed quickly.
- Store different styles separately, especially bloomies and blues as they like to spread and share their mold with other cheeses.
- Know the difference between good and bad mold.
- Understand moisture and water activity in order to know cheeses that can be displayed out of refrigeration, following government regulations which differ depending of local regulations (again more in Domain 9)]
- Understand shelf life of cheese: moisture content dictates shelf life: the higher the moisture, the shorter the shelf life and the harder a cheese, the lower the moisture content and the longer the shelf life.
- Aging re temperature: the lower the temp, the slower the aging and the higher the temp, the more quickly the cheese will age/ripen.
- In soft-ripened cheeses, a strong, persistent ammonia smell means the cheese is too old and should not be sold.
- Watch for damaged packaging; dry and cracked rind; wet rind; expired dating.
- Storing cheese at home: Keep it clean, cold (34 to 38°F) and covered.
- Cheese loses flavor and moisture when exposed to air.
- Store soft and fresh cheeses in clean, airtight containers.
- Store hard cheeses in tightly drawn plastic wrap.
- Store semi-hard cheeses, such as cheddar in lighter wrapping paper
Terms to Know:
Cold Chain FIFO Supply Chain Water Activity
Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating includeCheesemakers, ACS CCPs™, Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.
List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.
List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.
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