FDA Issues Yet Another Clarification on Cheese-Aging Regulations

Cheese-boarding is not a crime.
Cheese-boarding is not a crime. Photo: Shutterstock

The cheesemaking community was miffed, to say the least, this week when it seemed that the FDA had moved to ban the traditional practice of aging cheese on wood. Today, realizing the threat of this impending crackdown “prompted concerns,” the FDA issued a clarification statement, saying “we have not and are not prohibiting or banning the long-standing practice of using wood shelving in artisanal cheese.” The FDA apologized for its “definitive” language, explaining it has only taken action against producers when it found Listeria monocytogenes in facilities using the shelving. The letter concludes with the agency reiterating it will work with the “artisanal cheesemaking community” on the issue, and the upshot of all this, of course, is that everyone is talking about aged cheeses instead of Doritos Locos-whatever for once. [FDA via Kim Severson/Twitter, Related]