What are raw milk cheeses?
Raw milk cheeses are made using milk that hasn’t been pasteurised. Pasteurisation is a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time; killing bacteria responsible for diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, listeriosis and salmonellosis.
Pasteurisation has been used since the early 1900’s and became standard practice in Australia in the mid-1950’s. It is a valuable public health tool.
What raw milk cheeses are currently allowed in Australia?
The dairy standard contains processing requirements for hard to very hard cooked curd cheeses and Roquefort cheese.
In February 2015 further changes were made to the standard that allow for the production and importation of a greater range of raw milk cheeses where defined safety outcomes can be met, including ensuring pathogens are able to be controlled during manufacture and are unable to grow in the final product.
Additional control measures were also introduced relating to the way raw milk is produced, transported and processed.
Producers will have to demonstrate to enforcement agencies that these additional measures are in place and that they can achieve an acceptable level of safety.
What are the additional control measures for the cheeses considered in Proposal P1022?
The additional control measures relate to the way raw milk is produced, transported and processed. They will ensure the final product is safe for consumers.
Producers will have to demonstrate to enforcement agencies that these additional measures are in place that and that they can achieve an acceptable level of safety.
The changes are supported by guidance materials, including validation guidance.
What changes will be introduced through Proposal P1022 in regard to sourcing raw milk to produce raw milk cheese?
The changes in regard to sourcing raw milk include specific animal health requirements; requirements for animal identification and tracing; a requirement to control specific inputs e.g. such as not using fermented feed; milking hygiene requirements and cooling and storage requirements e.g. specified temperature control conditions.
Who do I talk to if I want to produce raw milk cheese?
State and territory governments are responsible for implementing, monitoring and enforcing the requirements in the Code. The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture monitors compliance of imported products with the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code. You can find a list of state and territory enforcement agencies on our website
Who was involved in changing the Dairy Standard to allow raw milk cheeses?
FSANZ consulted extensively on this work and industry provided input. A Standard Development Committee with representatives from industry, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, state and territory government agencies and consumer organisations provided ongoing advice to FSANZ about this work.
What is the status of raw drinking milk?
The Food Standards Code requires that milk is pasteurised or equivalently processed to eliminate pathogenic bacteria that may be present. There is an exemption to this processing requirement that allows for state and territory legislation to regulate and permit the sale of raw drinking milk. No states currently have legislated to allow for raw cow milk to be sold.
Raw goat milk is permitted for sale in four states: Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. States and territories will continue to have scope to allow for the sale of unpasteurised milk.
FSANZ completed an extensive assessment of raw cow’s milk and raw goat milk during the assessment of Proposal P1007 and concluded that the risk to the public was too high to change the current processing requirements in the Code.
What are the laws for raw milk in New Zealand?
Primary production and processing standards are Australia-only standards.
You can find information about regulations covering the New Zealand dairy industry on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
Read the proposal documents