Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/950112

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Page 36 of 91

The American Cheese Society is developing some web-based materials to guide cheese retailers in safer food handling. Sarah Spira, content manager for ACS, expects to have resources available sometime this year. In the meantime, interviews with retailers highlighted some common practices that may not be, but probably should be, standard operating procedure. 1. Keep a receiving log. Create your own or ask other merchants to share their template. Record every incoming cheese: invoice date, source, batch number or lot code if available, and anything amiss such as an atypical odor or smashed box. Quarantine anything that's suspect. If the cheese was on a refrigerated truck, you probably don't need to record its temperature, although some retailers say they are heading that way. Laura Downey, co-owner of Fairfield Cheese Company and Greenwich Cheese Company, both in Connecticut, says that a small, local distributor once dropped off an order in his Subaru. "Part of me knew it was probably fine, but I refused it," says Downey. 2. Create sanitation procedures and log each activity. Then scrutinize the log. Sanitizers lose potency over time and need frequent monitoring. A staffer should test the solution every couple of hours—more if it looks questionable—and note when it was changed. "If it's not recorded, it hasn't happened," says Kate Arding, co-owner of Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions in Hudson, New York. At the Cowgirl Creamery shops in San Francisco and Point Reyes, California, managers complete a daily sanitation checklist; supervisors review the forms weekly and f lag any incomplete information. Clean your cheese wire between cheeses. If you're using a knife, use a sanitized one for each cheese. At Talbott & Arding, used knives go immediately into a sanitizer tub so a monger won't be tempted to re-use it until it comes back from the dishwasher. Some retailers use color-coded knives, boards, and wires for different styles of cheese, like washed-rinds and blues. Others use paper to avoid contact between cheese and cutting board, minimizing the chance of cross-contamination. No busy store can sanitize boards between every customer, but you can implement a two-hour rotation. Thoroughly clean cheese cases weekly, at a minimum. Take everything out. Sanitize all surfaces, then reset the case. cheese focus 34 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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