Cheese and dairy products

  • The production of cheese must, where possible, use cow, sheep, goat or mixed milk obtained from native breeds raised locally. If milk from a native breed is used, this must be specified on the label. For information on farming methods refer to the relevant guidelines.
  • The practice of grazing on Alpine pastures should be practiced along with summer production carried out in mountain dairies (exemptions will only be granted if appropriately justified).
  • Fresh milk must be kept at temperatures and for times in accordance with current regulations*.
  • Cheese must be produced using filtered raw milk which meets the sanitary requirements of current legislation* and be made on the farm premises. Heat treatment – which  involves heating between 57° and 68°C for more than 15 seconds – or similar procedures is not permitted (except in the event of a specific exemption with justification), nor is pasteurization of the milk permitted. Temperatures and times for any cooking and heating stages must be specified, along with any spinning procedures. Should it be necessary to purchase milk or cheese (for cheese-based preparations) from a third party, the producer must request appropriate authorization from Slow Food. In this case the products purchased must meet the same standards as Presidium raw materials and product, and the producer is required to give the supplier’s data.
  • Rennet, where used, must be of animal or vegetable origin. The use of microbial (synthetic) rennet is not permitted. Self-production of rennet in the farm is encouraged.
  • The use of any kind of preservative, additive, or coloring is not permitted (unless natural). Milk enzymes are not permitted unless self-produced (natural native strains) No treatment of the rind is permitted (anti-mold, anti-mite or paraffin) except where it is traditional (rinds washed or treated with brine, oil, vinegar, tomato etc).  Any coating material is only permitted if traditional for a particular type of cheese.
  • Maturing and refining must take place in natural, or non-heated areas, with constant temperature and humidity. It is permitted to age the product in a chamber for an initial period of 15 days, but subsequent aging must be in a natural environment (except in the event of an exemption granted by Slow Food following justified application by the producers). The production protocol must define and state the minimum period of aging and/or refining in days or weeks, and in each case should indicate the optimal temperature in °C and % relative humidity.
  • If a smoking process is involved it must follow natural criteria and be carried out in traditional premises. Only untreated, non-recycled wood should be used, preferably produced locally.
  • The producer must have a health certificate.
  • The cheeses must meet the microbiological limits required by current regulations for food products in order to ensure food safety.

* for EU countries the required regulation is Commission Regulation 853/04/EC and later additions and changes

 

** for EU countries the required regulation is Commission Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 and later additions and changes

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