Press Release (GIS):– The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS), in response to complaints about the quality and authenticity of cheese sold on the local market, conducted a survey of cheese products at selected retail outlets.
Conformity assessment analyses were carried out on samples of prepackaged cheese as well as bulk cheese which are repackaged locally for sale. The authenticity of the cheese products was verified against the requirements of the international CODEX Standards for Cheese. Results of the assessment showed no evidence of food fraud, that is, fake or plastic cheese. However, the results indicated adverse analytical findings for the parameters of yeast and mold in products that were repackaged for sale. Unacceptable levels of yeast and mold in the cheese suggest poor storage and handling practices that can occur from processing, storage, distribution and final handling by the consumer.
Retailers have been advised of the draft findings and recommendations for addressing the incidents of yeast and mold in repackaged cheese.
The SLBS continues to promote training and awareness of food safety and HACCP standards for food handlers to mitigate the risk of food-borne illnesses. Retailers, manufacturers, and caterers are encouraged to take advantage of the training being offered.