Legislation & Regulation

REGULATORY-NEWS 60 Day Rule News (8/10/2016) - As I have been warning Guild members for the past few years, the FDA has now publicly announced that it will abandon the “60 Day Rule” allowing the sale and nationwide distribution of cheeses aged > 60 days. In advance of this decision the FDA conducted pathogen testing aimed at raw milk cheeses produced by […]
New Sales Tax Takeaway (1/13/2016) - As many of you already know Maine has substantially changed its sales tax rules regarding food. It’s no longer as straight-forward as groceries (non-taxable) and prepared food (always taxable). The legislature, in its infinite wisdom, now regards some groceries as taxable. The new name for non-taxable food is “grocery staples.” At our meeting on January […]
The Maine Cheese Guild welcomes Beth Williams, our newest Dairy Inspector (9/8/2014) - The Maine Cheese Guild is happy to introduce the newest State Dairy Inspector, Beth Williams.  Beth grew up on a farm in South China, Maine.  She loves animals and enjoys having the opportunity to visit Maine farms, farmers and dairies.   We welcome her and wish her success in her new position!
State of Maine Flag Maine Supreme Court Rules On Dairy Licensing Question (6/23/2014) - The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling against Dan Brown (aka “Farmer Brown” in Blue Hill), upholding a lower court’s decision that he had broken the law by selling raw milk from his unlicensed, un-inspected Gravelwood Farm. Here is the link to read the BDN story. This ruling lifted Mr. Brown’s crusade to the […]
Did the FDA just ban European cheese? (6/10/2014) - After “clarifying” it’s position on using wood boards to age cheese by saying that wood can NOT be used to safely produce aged cheese, the U.S. FDA moved to dampen fears it will ban all cheese aged on wood. Meanwhile the American Cheese Society has issued its response to the FDA’s “clarification” on using wood […]
LD1786 “Died” in ME House and Senate? (5/10/2014) - May 10th: I have heard reports that LD1786, An Act To Allow the Sale of Unregulated Farm-produced Dairy Products at the Site of Production, has “died” in the legislature. However due to the completely opaque and asynchronous nature of the Maine Legislature’s bill tracking web tool and that nothing appears to have been reported on […]
LD1786 Reported Out of Ag Committee (3/7/2014) - After a work session in the Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry that included FOUR separate votes on three versions of a bill, the committee finally reported out all THREE versions of a bill that would allow unregulated sales of milk and milk products from the farm only to the full Legislature. The majority […]
LD 1786 Public Hearing Scheduled for March 4th (2/26/2014) - A public hearing before the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry for LD 1786 “An Act To Allow the Sale of Unregulated Farm-produced Dairy Products at the Site of Production” has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 04, 2014, 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 214, Augusta, ME You may testify at the […]
LD 1786 Released and Referred to Ag Committee (2/20/2014) - Legislative Document 1786, “An Act To Allow the Sale of Unregulated Farm-produced Dairy Products at the Site of Production” was released from the Maine State Legislature’s clerk’s office and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry today. Use the above link to view the entire bill. The bill is sponsored by Representative Bill […]
It’s Coming! FSMA Decoded So Far… (9/9/2013) - During a salmonella outbreak of 2008 and 2009 nine people died, 166 were hospitalized and more than 700 fell ill. Authorities ultimately traced the contamination of Salmonella Typhimurium back to peanut products manufactured in a Texas plant owned by the Peanut Corporation of America. According to the US CDC an estimated 48 million people each […]
Food Safety Exemption Legislation in 2013 (5/1/2013) - UPDATE July 8: Governor LePage vetos LD1282 and sends it back to the Legislature. UPDATE July 9: Maine Senate does not override the veto. Just as was the case in the 2011 state legislative session, several bills have been introduced that would exempt certain farms in Maine (including dairy farms and processors) in certain situations […]
Guild Statement Related To Local Food Ordinances (4/1/2013) - The Maine Cheese Guild stands by it’s Quality Statement, issued in May 2009, with regard to the Local Food Ordinance proposals we have seen, and to the legislative bills introduced for the 2011 session (LD330 and LD366). Our testimony against LD330, given to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry at the March […]
FDA Draft Report on Soft-Ripened Cheese Production (2/18/2013) - The Cheese Reporter reports in their February 8th issue that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working in conjunction with Health Canada, has released a draft report on their risk assessment of soft-ripened cheese production using pasteurized and raw milk specifically for L. monocytogenes (Listeria). This risk assessment will be used by FDA risk […]
Guild Input Into New Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Dept. (6/26/2012) - Broadly speaking the legislature has decided to merge the Maine Department of Agriculture with the Maine Department of Conservation. They have also transferred several functions from the State Planning Office to this new “super” department among other smaller moves across state governement. As these government entities contemplate how to re-organize under this single new entity […]
News About Raw Milk Oversight at Federal Level (4/25/2012) - In March 2012 the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) released the results of a study titled “Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006” which is now posted on their web site. In response to this report, the American Cheese Society issued a “Statement on the Safety of Raw Milk Cheese” which […]
Yogurt Shelf Life? (3/15/2011) - This just came into the Guild mailbox: “I make yogurt in a licensed creamery and we’ve been seeing huge (infinite?) shelf lives for our yogurt, upwards of four weeks in the fridge, with a tangier taste but nothing evil going on. We’re currently putting a 2-week expiration date on our yogurt that we sell in […]
Dairy Farm Requirements — An Overview (2/9/2011) - Below is a link to a PDF document outlining the basics for setting up a small scale dairy operation and then getting your Maine Dairy Processors license to allow you to sell your products. It was put together by the Maine Micro-Dairy Cooperative which, sadly, is no longer an on-going operation In addition to the […]
Processing Plant Requirements – an Overview (2/9/2011) - Below is a link to a PDF document outlining the basics for setting up a creamery and then getting your Maine Dairy Processors license to allow you to sell your products. It was put together by the Maine Micro-Dairy Cooperative which, sadly, is no longer an on-going operation In addition to the basic regulations, it’s […]
Maine Cheese Guild Quality Statement (5/12/2009) - The Maine Cheese Guild believes that cheese of the highest quality can only be made with a thorough and regularly refreshed knowledge of food safety. The Maine Cheese Guild promotes and sponsors regular opportunities to learn about best practices for cheese making. The Guild also believes that the best way for professional* cheese makers to […]

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