In 2016, ACS released its Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers (Guide). ACS members requested such a resource, and by way of response, this Guide was created to encompass currently accepted best practices for cheesemaking. The second edition of the Guide, published in February 2017, includes updates based on changing regulations, incorporates direct feedback and clarification from reviewers at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and provides more current resources and templates where available.
This Guide provides an easy reference for busy cheesemakers—especially small- to mid-size producers—one which can be readily accessed. Regulatory agencies and academics provide information in great detail, but it is often buried within volumes of text. This Guide gleans the key requirements, suggestions, and practices from that vast sea of information, and condenses them into a more easily digestible format written in more accessible language.
The Safe Cheesemaking Hub is dedicated to providing an easily searchable compendium of vetted food safety resources for cheesemakers. The website serves as a “one-stop shop” for the valuable resources, research, training, and tools artisan cheesemakers need to enhance their food safety practices. This site also features a “Retailers Toolkit” designed to provide food safety resources for cheese and specialty food retailers.
ACS engages with regulators and other key stakeholders on a regular basis to advance issues of importance to our members. This work keeps American cheesemakers, and particularly traditional cheesemaking practices, top-of-mind for industry decision-makers. An overview of advocacy and engagement efforts can be found via the link above. Please note that this list may not be all-inclusive, and updates are made regularly.