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FDA ruling on aging cheese on wooden boards has Wisconsin concerned

A Wedge of Piave Vecchio Lattebusche PDO Cheese, Aged 180 days. (Photo By J.P.Lon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons).
A Wedge of Piave Vecchio Lattebusche PDO Cheese, Aged 180 days. (Photo By J.P.Lon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons).

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin could be greatly affected by a federal ruling which said it's not sanitary to use wooden boards for the aging of cheese.  

The Food and Drug Administration recently cited several plants in New York State for using wooden boards, despite state laws which permit them.  

They've been used around the world for more than a century in the process of aging a wide variety of cheese products.

For now, Wisconsin says it will not change its inspection policy for cheesemakers. State ag department spokesman Jim Dick says his agency will first seek clarification on the FDA ruling before America's Dairyland does anything.

The owner of the Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg tells the Wisconsin State Journal he's worried about the ruling -- because his place uses wooden boards to age 85 percent of its cheeses. Chris Roelli calls it a "potential game changer" for the face of America's artisan cheeses.  

Wisconsin is the nation's top cheese producer.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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