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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter CPart 58Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 58—GRADING AND INSPECTION, GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR APPROVED PLANTS AND STANDARDS FOR GRADES OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
Subpart B—General Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service


Equipment and Utensils

§58.414   General construction, repair and installation.

All equipment and utensils necessary to the manufacture of cheese and related products shall meet the same general requirements as outlined in §58.128. In addition, for certain other equipment the following requirements shall be met.

§58.415   Starter vats.

Bulk starter vats shall be of stainless steel or equally corrosion resistant metal and should be constructed according to the applicable 3-A Sanitary Standards. New or replacement vats shall be constructed according to the applicable 3-A Sanitary Standards. The vats shall be in good repair, equipped with tight fitting lids and have adequate temperature controls such as valves, indicating and/or recording thermometers.

§58.416   Cheese vats, tanks and drain tables.

(a) The vats, tanks and drain tables used for making cheese should be of metal construction with adequate jacket capacity for uniform heating. The inner liner shall be minimum 16 gauge stainless steel or other equally corrosion resistant metal, properly pitched from side to center and from rear to front for adequate drainage. The liner shall be smooth, free from excessive dents or creases and shall extend over the edge of the outer jacket. The outer jacket shall be constructed of stainless steel or other metal which can be kept clean and sanitary. The junction of the liner and outer jackets shall be constructed so as to prevent milk or cheese from entering the inner jacket.

(b) The vat, tank and/or drain table shall be equipped with a suitable sanitary outlet valve. Effective valves shall be provided and properly maintained to control the application of heat to this equipment. If this equipment is provided with removable cloth covers, they shall be clean.

§58.417   Mechanical agitators.

The mechanical agitators shall be of sanitary construction. The carriages shall be of the enclosed type and all product contact surfaces, shields, shafts, and hubs shall be constructed of stainless steel or other equally corrosion resistant metal. Metal blades, forks, or stirrers shall be constructed of stainless steel and of material approved in the 3-A Sanitary Standards for Plastic, and Rubber and Rubber-Like Materials and shall be free from rough or sharp edges which might scratch the equipment or remove metal particles.

§58.418   Automatic cheese making equipment.

(a) Automatic Curd Maker. The automatic curd making system shall be constructed of stainless steel or of material approved in the 3-A Sanitary Standards for Plastic, and Rubber and Rubber-Like Material. All areas shall be free from cracks and rough surfaces and constructed so that they can be easily cleaned.

(b) Curd conveying systems. The curd conveying system, conveying lines and cyclone separator shall be constructed of stainless steel or other equally corrosion resistant metal and in such manner that it can be satisfactorily cleaned. The system shall be of sufficient size to handle the volume of curd and be provided with filtered air of the quality satisfactory for the intended use. Air compressors or vacuum pumps shall not be located in the processing or packaging areas.

(c) Automatic salter. The automatic salter shall be constructed of stainless steel or other equally corrosion resistant metal. This equipment shall be constructed to equally distribute the salt throughout the curd. It shall be designed to accurately weigh the amount of salt added. The automatic salter shall be constructed so that it can be satisfactorily cleaned. The salting system shall provide for adequate absorption of the salt in the curd. Water and steam used to moisten the curd prior to salting shall be potable water or culinary steam.

(d) Automatic curd filler. The automatic curd filler shall be constructed of stainless steel or other equally corrosion resistant metal. This equipment shall be of sufficient size to handle the volume of curd and constructed and controlled so as to accurately weigh the amount of curd as it fills. The curd filler shall be constructed so that it can be satisfactorily cleaned.

(e) Hoop and barrel washer. The washer shall be constructed so that it can be satisfactorily cleaned. It shall also be equipped with temperature and pressure controls to ensure satisfactory cleaning of the hoops or barrels. It should be adequately vented to the outside.

§58.419   Curd mill and miscellaneous equipment.

Knives, hand rakes, shovels, scoops, paddles, strainers, and miscellaneous equipment shall be stainless steel or of material approved in the 3-A Sanitary Standards for Plastic and Rubber-like Material. The product contact surfaces of the curd mill should be of stainless steel. All pieces of equipment shall be so constructed that they can be kept clean and free from rough or sharp edges which might scratch the equipment or remove metal particles. The wires in the curd knives shall be stainless steel, kept tight and replaced when necessary.

§58.420   Hoops, forms and followers.

The hoops, forms, and followers shall be constructed of stainless steel, heavy tinned steel or other approved materials. If tinned, they shall be kept tinned and free from rust. All hoops, forms, and followers shall be kept in good repair. Drums or other special forms used to press and store cheese shall be clean and sanitary.

§58.421   Press.

The cheese press should be constructed of stainless steel and all joints welded and all surfaces, seams and openings readily cleanable. The pressure device shall be the continuous type. Press cloths shall be maintained in good repair and in a sanitary condition. Single service press cloths shall be used only once.

§58.422   Brine tank.

The brine tank shall be constructed of suitable non-toxic material and should be resistant to corrosion, pitting or flaking. The brine tank shall be operated so as to assure the brine is clean, well circulated, and of the proper strength and temperature for the variety of cheese being made.

§58.423   Cheese vacuumizing chamber.

The vacuum chamber shall be satisfactorily constructed and maintained so that the product is not contaminated with rust or flaking paint. An inner liner of stainless steel or other corrosion resistant material should be provided.

§58.424   Monorail.

The monorail shall be constructed so as to prevent foreign material from falling on the cheese or cheese containers.

§58.425   Conveyor for moving and draining block or barrel cheese.

The conveyor shall be constructed so that it will not contaminate the cheese and be easily cleaned. It shall be installed so that the press drippings will not cause an environmental problem.

§58.426   Rindless cheese wrapping equipment.

The equipment used to heat seal the wrapper applied to rindless cheese shall have square interior corners, reasonably smooth interior surface and have controls that shall provide uniform pressure and heat equally to all surfaces. The equipment used to apply shrinkable wrapping material to rindless cheese shall operate to maintain the natural intended shape of the cheese in an acceptable manner, reasonably smooth surfaces on the cheese and tightly adhere the wrapper to the surface of the cheese.

§58.427   Paraffin tanks.

The metal tank should be adequate in size, have wood rather than metal racks to support the cheese, have heat controls and an indicating thermometer. The cheese wax shall be kept clean.

§58.428   Speciality equipment.

All product contact areas of speciality equipment shall be constructed of stainless steel or of material approved in the 3-A Sanitary Standards for Plastic and Rubber and Rubber-Like Material, and constructed following 3-A Sanitary Standards principles.

§58.429   Washing machine.

When used, the washing machine for cheese cloths and bandages shall be of commercial quality and size; or of sufficient size to handle the applicable load. It should be equipped with temperature and water level controls.

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