Small farmers everywhere will be impacted by Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. In a recent webinar, Lori Babcock, co-owner of Tieton Farm & Creamery in Tieton, WA described the devastating impact of large Food & Drug Administration (FDA) fees and FSMA recordkeeping burdens on her livestock farms and dairy. She shared her concerns in a webinar called “FSMA – Its Impact on Artisan Cheesemakers” hosted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Office of Compliance & Outreach in mid-September.
Cheesemaking is an ancient craft. Microbes work their magic on milk and basic ingredient creating a variety of tasty, nutritious cheeses. European cheesemakers can use and reuse wicker baskets and boards to make their aged cheeses. In America, we have to compete with those products while our rules require stainless steel and plastic containers.
Recent studies have concluded that diverse microbial activity in the gut increases human health. Different microbes used to make cheese affect its flavor as do the animal’s breed, forage, minerals and water.
Large commercial operations use modern equipment and steel tanks to comply with sanitation and food safety rules. “Their products may be safe, but their cheese doesn’t taste like anything,” said Babcock.
FSMA shifts the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) focus from reactive to preventive action. [Read more here]