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Chapter 11 : Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking

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Abstract:

The microbiological quality and safety of cheese begin with milk. With an abundance of nutrients, milk is intended to provide complete primary nutrition for young mammals. With its near neutral pH, milk also serves as an excellent growth medium for the select microorganisms utilized in the manufacture of cheese. Consequently, the same applies to contaminating microorganisms, including those associated with spoilage and defects as well as those that are pathogenic to humans. Milk, essentially sterile when secreted into the alveoli of the udder, ultimately becomes contaminated with microorganisms originating from infection, the farm environment, and feedstuffs, as well as milking and processing equipment. Generally, environmental contaminants found in soil, feces, and bedding material attach to the exterior of teats and are released into milk during collection. Some of these microorganisms may also enter the teat canal and cause infection and are thus excreted in the milk. Lastly, microorganisms adhered to the surfaces of the milking and processing equipment, present as a result of inadequate cleaning and sanitation, can also contaminate milk. Contamination is of great concern to the cheesemaker, as milk of high microbiological quality is important to achieve optimal cheese yield, quality, and safety. Many spoilage organisms are capable of producing negative changes in the organoleptic attributes of cheese through the enzymatic alteration of milk components. In addition, contaminants can access the cheese itself during manufacture and aging, resulting in additional defects and food safety concerns. This review discusses the various types of contaminating microorganisms, with a focus on those associated with quality and/or safety issues related to cheesemaking. It also covers the regulatory policies regarding milk and milk products currently implemented in various developed nations designed to increase the quality and safety of cheese and other dairy products.

Citation: D'Amico D. 2014. Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking, p 251-309. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0011-2012

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“Early blowing” gas defect in cheese at dehooping. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0011-2012.f1

Citation: D'Amico D. 2014. Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking, p 251-309. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0011-2012
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“Late blowing” gas defect in aged cheese. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0011-2012.f2

Citation: D'Amico D. 2014. Microbiological Quality and Safety Issues in Cheesemaking, p 251-309. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0011-2012
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