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FDA Tries to End Cheese Issue

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has apologized to a lawmaker and clarified the agency’s position on the use of wooden boards for aging cheese. “Our previous communication to your office and others on this topic was overly broad and painted a picture that did not reflect FDA’s actual policy and practices,” FDA’s Mike Taylor said in a letter to Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “We regret and apologize for the resulting confusion.” Taylor is Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Taylor writes that “contrary to the impression conveyed by various emails on this topic from FDA staff, FDA has not categorically determined that wooden shelves used in the manufacturing of cheeses are not ‘adequately cleanable,” and thus, FDA does not have a policy prohibiting them.”

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