With the goal of enhancing cheese quality and safety by providing cost-effective solutions to its members, the American Cheese Society (ACS) has announced a new partnership with Cherney Microbiological Services (Cherney) and plans to provide discounted testing services.
“We listened to our members,” noted ACS Executive Director, Nora Weiser, in a press release, “and Cherney listened to us. Our members were looking for a simplified, cost-effective way to enhance the quality and safety of their products while ensuring compliance with the latest regulations.”
According to a joint press release, the program grew from the need to provide support for artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese manufacturers. With new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations and impending deadlines for compliance, ACS and Cherney’s new partnership will help provide producers with access to needed resources at reduced costs—resources including education, discounted services, simplified testing packages, and technical support for society members.
“At Cherney, we understand that there is a growing trend for locally-sourced food produced in smaller batches in the United States. While this trend has clear advantages to the consumer, it also creates challenges when it comes to food safety and regulatory compliance for the producer,” stated Stephen Kuchenberg, Chief Operating Officer for Cherney. “Cherney is proud to partner with a great organization such as ACS to help their members succeed and meet the growing demand for their products. All in all, we see this as a great opportunity to drive food safety forward through a collaborative approach.”
Knowing the struggle that small- to mid-size producers face, ACS and Cherney have reportedly worked together, with input from industry stakeholders, to develop a streamlined “start to finish” testing program. Packages that address minimum testing requirements to enhance safety and compliance are expected to encourage participation in the program, and all-inclusive packages are designed for ease of use, rapid results, consistent budget planning, and overall compliance. Providing members with additional support such as customized training, auditing, and consultation from Cherney’s trusted Technical Support Team extends the value of this partnership.
In addition to award-winning resources, like ACS’s Safe Cheesemaking Hub, and industry standard-setting publications such as the ACS Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers and the newly released ACS Cheese & Dairy Product Lexicon and Glossary, partnerships such as this one with Cherney continue to enhance industry safety. ACS noted that participating member organizations can easily save enough money through available discounts to offset their annual dues through its new program.
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