US Sen. Schumer says FDA cheese rule hurts NY


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ALBANY — U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is urging the Food and Drug Administration to issue better guidance for cheese aging, arguing that New York cheese makers will be hurt if they can't use wooden boards to age their cheese.

Artisanal cheese makers in upstate New York are affected by the FDA's interpretation of a rule that could require costly changes to cheese production.

The FDA's interpretation of the safety rule says wooden boards or shelves can't be properly cleaned and sanitized and as a result don't conform to food safety regulations.

On June 10 the FDA backtracked on its stance, noting it hasn't taken any enforcement action on the wooden shelves and is open to evidence that cheese could be aged on wood safely.

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