After developing the SEGAZ project: “EXPERIMENTAL STUDY TO ESTABLISH MICROBIOLOGICAL FOOD SAFETY CRITERIA FOR CHEESE PRODUCED WITH RAW MILK” (Dairy Centre, 2020), there are still shortcomings when establishing food safety criteria for the production and marketing of cheeses other than pressed ripened cheeses. These types of cheese have not been produced in the Basque Country in recent decades, but there is a growing trend and an increasing number of traditional cheese producers are opting for diversification. Therefore, HAZI's GAZTABERRI project is developing a framework to standardise and promote the manufacture of a new range of products made with Eusko Label-certified milk called Euskal Gaztak. Furthermore, the Dairy Centre's experience with Basque cheesemakers has resulted in a number of interesting cheese products being identified, besides Euskal Gaztak, with a view to diversifying Basque cheese production.
As such, the development of this project aims to provide continuity to the SEGAZ project carried out in 2018, 2019 and 2020, in order to determine the shelf life of certain cheeses considered of interest for the Basque Country, taking Listeria monocytogenes as a reference.
The overall aim of the project is to establish the best-before and/or use-by dates for cheeses other than a pressed hard cheese made from pasteurised milk, as well as for a blue cheese made from raw sheep's milk. Shelf life studies will be carried out for each of them.
For this purpose, the main activities carried out by Leartiker are as follows:
- Carrying out shelf life studies of cheeses other than pressed hard cheese in order to establish their best-before and use-by dates according to standardised criteria.
- Generating knowledge on the behaviour of the product in the event of cross-contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Importance of GMP and adequate support plans.