A limited number of dairy products involve long-term storage, due to seasonal reasons, maturation required by technological flow or for economic reasons. With the exception of (non) skimmed milk powder or skimmed milk powder, a few other types of cheese involve non-optional storage. Cheeses made from milk and / or sheep, which require long maturation periods, are considered to be long-lasting cheeses.
Sometimes, the seasonal nature of the production of certain long-keeping cheeses is aggravated by the fact that the consumption season is at the opposite end of the production season, but dehydrated products are not linked (in production, storage, sales, consumption) to the season. However, without exception, in the spaces where the dairy products are stored, for maturation or long-term storage, the following conditions must be ensured:
a) the spaces must have a smooth and impermeable floor and walls, clean and free of mold; however, for the storage or maturation of certain types of dairy products, the competent veterinary authority may grant general or individual derogations from the construction conditions for storage or maturation facilities;
b) the endowments will have the necessary grills and shelves for placing the products or packaging, not allowing their direct contact with the floor;
c) to ensure the optimal microclimate (temperature, humidity, ventilation) for the respective product; for the permanent purpose of the control, the deposits will be provided with thermometers and hygrometers with registration;
d) the products must be placed in an orderly manner, on assortments, lots or batches, and they must be visibly marked, by means of which the assortment, quantity, date of entry of the product and date of expiry of the deadline must be entered. validity;
e) the placement of the products will be made so that each group is accessible in order to control or (as the case may be) to collect samples for laboratory examinations;
f) to carry out periodically, but at least twice a year, a general cleaning, followed by disinfection; whenever necessary, disinsection or rodent control will be performed.
Strict rules, at the factory and at the sheepfold
Among the voluntarily stored dairy products (other than old cheeses), (non) skimmed milk powder, skimmed milk powder and condensed milk are among the distinct ones. The elimination of water from milk almost entirely determines the production of a product with a high content of dry matter, easy to transport and store. Due to the unsuitable conditions for the development of microorganisms and the appearance of chemical changes, milk powder is a product that is suitable for long-term storage.
Smoked cheese is located in the extreme of dairy products matured at relative temperature, most varieties of smoked cheese requiring storage of at least 55 days, a period involved in the technological chain of manufacture. The first link is represented by the placement of the cheese taken out of the molds, to be placed on the shelves in the maturation room.
The first maturation of the smoked cheese is done at 17-18 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity of the air of maximum 85%. It lasts 10-12 days. In the first days, the cheese wheels are placed individually at a distance of at least 5 cm, their return being performed twice a day. In the following days, two-wheeled columns are formed, which return every two days. The maturation space is kept permanently clean, disinfected, artificially ventilated, the air currents being directed along the shelves.
The second maturation is the one that precedes the storage-maturation, an operation that lasts 45 days. After final prematurity, the cheese is placed in disinfected shuttles and transported to the packing room where it is packed in heat-shrinkable foil. Here it is subjected to an organoleptic and physico-chemical control. The cheese pieces are placed in special bags and emptied in a “Cryovac” installation. After vacuuming, place for 1-2 seconds in a pool of water at 95 degrees Celsius. For storage , the cheese is placed again in disinfected shuttles and transported to the maturation room, where it is placed on stacked shelves, 3-4 wheels each, continuing to mature for 45 days, at a temperature of 16-18 degrees Celsius.
In the case of sheepfolds holding a certificate for the manufacture of dairy products and their long-term storage, the conditions are primarily represented by the existence of a workspace of sufficient size for the activities of milk reception and dairy production to be carried out in general conditions. adequate hygiene. The construction must be designed and constructed in such a way as to exclude contamination of long – term stored dairy products. Depending on the existing rooms, they must be arranged in such a way as to provide a space for the prolonged maturation of old cheeses and a space of sufficient size for the storage of the finished products in appropriate conditions;
Shepherd managers must also provide space for long-term storage of cheese:
– a water source whose operation complies with specific legislative norms;
– facilities for sanitizing containers used for transporting cheese, as well as equipment and utensils used for manufacturing;
– adequate natural ventilation and, where necessary, facilities for the proper evacuation of steam and vapors;
– adequate natural or artificial lighting;
– a separate space or closet for storing detergents, disinfectants and sanitizing materials; disinfectants and similar products must be approved for use in the food industry and used in such a way as not to have adverse effects on equipment, utensils, milk and dairy products; the use of detergents and disinfectants must be followed by rinsing with drinking water;
– appropriate and effective means of protection against pests, such as insects, rodents, etc .;
– special airtight containers for waste and by – products not intended for human consumption (whey, buttermilk).