Alaska cheese makers seeking lesser regs

Posted: Tuesday, March 09, 2010

JUNEAU - Proposed regulations geared for the industrial-scale dairies are burdensome to small producers, and they will seek exemptions when state lawmakers hold a hearing Monday.

The regulations are in place to minimize food safety risks, but small dairies say the are too cumbersome for micro-farmers to meet. For example, one rule for cheese making requires eight separate rooms with specifications for drainage, lighting, ventilation and construction materials.

One goat farmer from Esther wrote the administration suggesting an exemption allowing farms producing less than 10 gallons of milk a day to sell milk and milk products directly to consumers. The milk would have to be pasteurized and the farms registered.

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