Is Raw Milk Cheese Safe?
When we first began making cheese, we had visitors ask us if raw milk cheese is even legal to sell. It sure is! And it’s incredibly safe.
Ages 60 Days
FDA requires all of our raw milk cheddar to be aged 60 days. The acidifying process that happens during aging is like a natural pasteurization process, killing disease-causing pathogens that could potentially be in the cheese. No raw milk cheese ever leaves our farm before reaching 60 days aged.
Lowest Risk Category
While the FDA puts raw milk in its highest risk category, cultured milk products and hard cheeses are in its lowest risk category. Being in the FDA’s lowest risk category suggests that it is safer than practically every other food you might eat including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables!
Cleanliness next to Godliness
Pasteurization doesn’t eliminate the potential for foodborne pathogens in cheese. The real trick is sanitary production and aging practices. At Neighborly Farms, we take sanitation and environmental testing seriously!
Raw Milk Cheese is Delicious!
We grew up on raw milk. We think it’s more delicious, richer, and more complex. And we’re delighted to make a cheese with a flavor that shares those same rich, delicious, complex characteristics.
“Our little farm, surrounded by a neighborhood of family and friends, symbolizes rural living at its very best.”
Meaning of Raw and Pasteurized
Raw Milk: Unpasteurized milk. To us, that means the milk does not get heated above the temperature at which a cow would naturally produce it.
Pasteurized Milk: In Vermont, milk that is heated to 165°F or above for 16 or more seconds.
Ultrapasteurized Milk: Milk that is heated to a minimum of 280°F for a minimum of 2 seconds.
Some research suggests that enzymes that naturally occur in milk aid in human digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Heating the milk can destroy those helpful enzymes. It’s also been found that pasteurization can destroy vitamins in raw milk, such as vitamin C.