All equipment and utensils necessary for the manufacture of cheese and related products shall meet the same general requirements as outlined in rule 901:11-2-22 of the Administrative Code. In addition, for certain other equipment the following requirements shall be met:
(A) Bulk starter vats shall be constructed of stainless steel or equally corrosion-resistant metal and shall be in good repair, equipped with tight-fitting lids, and have adequate temperature controls such as valves, indicating and/or recording thermometers. New vats shall be constructed in accordance with the applicable 3-A sanitary standards.
(B) Cheese vats:
(1) The vats used for making cheese shall be of metal construction with adequate jacket capacity for uniform heating. The inner liner shall be constructed of at least sixteen gage stainless steel or other equally corrosion-resistant metal, including copper, properly pitched from side to center and from rear to front for adequate drainage. The liner shall be smooth and free from excessive dents or creases. The liner shall extend over the edge of the outer jacket. The outer jacket, when metal, shall be constructed of stainless steel or other metal which can be kept clean and sanitary. The junction of the liner and outer jackets shall be constructed to prevent milk or cheese from entering the inner jacket.
(2) The vat shall be equipped with a suitable sanitary outlet valve. Effective valves shall be provided and properly maintained to control the application of heat to the vat.
(C) Mechanical agitators shall be of sanitary construction. The carriage and track shall be constructed to prevent the dropping of dirt or grease into the vat. Metal blades, forks, or stirrers shall be constructed of stainless steel and of material approved in the 3-A sanitary standards for plastic and rubber or rubberlike materials and shall be free from rough or sharp edges which might scratch the equipment or create metal particles or shavings.
(D) Curd mill, knives, hand rakes, shovels, paddles, strainers, and miscellaneous equipment shall be constructed of stainless steel or of material approved in the 3-A sanitary standards for plastic and rubberlike material. The product contact surfaces of the curd mill shall be stainless steel. All equipment shall be constructed in a manner that they can be kept clean. The wires in the curd knives shall be stainless steel, kept tight and replaced when necessary.
(E) Hoops, forms, and followers shall be constructed of stainless steel or heavy tinned steel or of material approved in the 3-A sanitary standards for plastic and rubberlike material. If tinned, they shall be kept tinned and free from corrossion. All hoops, forms, and followers shall be kept in good repair. Drums or other special forms used to press and store cheese shall be clean and sanitary.
(F) The cheese press shall be constructed of stainless steel, approved materials as listed in 3-A sanitary standards, or of other materials acceptable to the director. All welded joints and all surfaces, seams, and openings shall be readily cleanable. Press cloths shall be maintained in good repair and in a sanitary condition. Single-service press cloths shall be used only once.
(G) The rindless cheese press used to heat seal the wrapper applied to rindless cheese shall have square interior corners, reasonably smooth interior surfaces and controls that provide uniform pressure and heat equally to all surfaces.
(H) The metal paraffin tanks shall be adequate in size, be equipped with wood to support the cheese, have heat controls, and an indicating thermometer. The cheese wax shall be kept clean.
Prior History: (Effective:
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 11/24/2015 and 02/21/2021
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 917.02
Rule Amplifies: 917.02
Prior Effective Dates: 06/18/01, 06/06/05)