Skip to main content

60-Day Aging Requirement Does Not Ensure Safety of Surface-Mold-Ripened Soft Cheeses Manufactured from Raw or Pasteurized Milk When Listeria monocytogenes Is Introduced as a Postprocessing Contaminant

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Because of renewed interest in specialty cheeses, artisan and farmstead producers are manufacturing surface-mold-ripened soft cheeses from raw milk, using the 60-day holding standard (21 CFR 133.182) to achieve safety. This study compared the growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes on cheeses manufactured from raw or pasteurized milk and held for >60 days at 4°C. Final cheeses were within federal standards of identity for soft ripened cheese, with low moisture targets to facilitate the holding period. Wheels were surface inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes at approximately 0.2 CFU/cm2 (low level) or 2 CFU/cm2 (high level), ripened, wrapped, and held at 4°C. Listeria populations began to increase by day 28 for all treatments after initial population declines. From the low initial inoculation level, populations in raw and pasteurized milk cheese reached maximums of 2.96 ± 2.79 and 2.33 ± 2.10 log CFU/g, respectively, after 60 days of holding. Similar growth was observed in cheese inoculated at high levels, where populations reached 4.55 ± 4.33 and 5.29 ± 5.11 log CFU/g for raw and pasteurized milk cheeses, respectively. No significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed in pH development, growth rate, or population levels between cheeses made from the different milk types. Independent of the milk type, cheeses held for 60 days supported growth from very low initial levels of L. monocytogenes introduced as a postprocess contaminant. The safety of cheeses of this type must be achieved through control strategies other than aging, and thus revision of current federal regulations is warranted.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05405, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more