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Dairy Facts 2016

FDA Approves Temperature Changes for Cottage Cheese

Jun 15, 2011

In a major win for cottage cheese manufacturers, the Food and Drug Administration this week codified its acceptance of higher packaging temperatures and longer cooling times for cottage cheese with specific added preservatives and specific microbial inhibitors. IDFA has been working since 2005 to provide FDA with the necessary scientific data from product challenge studies to demonstrate the safety of cultured dairy products at higher filling temperatures.

Based on scientific data provided by the University of Wisconsin and IDFA member dairy and ingredient companies, the FDA has issued two memoranda that outline the specific criteria and parameters for the cold filled packaging of cottage cheese with the specified microbial inhibitors at a temperature of 13ºC (55 ºF) or less; cooled to 10ºC (50°F) or less within twenty-four (24) hours of filling.

"The changes to the cottage cheese filling parameters and accepted microbial inhibitors are to take effect immediately and these changes will be reflected in the 2011 Pasteurized Milk Ordinance," said Jon Gardner, IDFA vice president for regulatory affairs and international standards.

On June 7, 2011 FDA released these two documents related to this action:

The higher filling temperature for cold cottage cheese was achieved through a proposal IDFA submitted to the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS). The 2011 NCIMS meeting was held April 28-May 4 in Baltimore, Md.

For more information, contact Jon Gardner at

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