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e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2021

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

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart B—General Specifications for Dairy Plants Approved for USDA Inspection and Grading Service

Requirements for Cottage Cheese Bearing USDA Official Identification

§58.526   Official identification.

(a) Only cottage cheese manufactured and packaged in accordance with the requirements of this part and with the applicable requirements in subpart A of this part which has been officially inspected in process and found to be in compliance with these requirements may be identified with the official USDA Quality Approved Inspection Shield.

(b) Nonfat dry milk. Nonfat dry milk, when used in cottage cheese bearing official identification, shall meet the requirements for U.S. Extra Grade (Spray Process), at time of use, and should be of U.S. Low Heat Classification (not less than 6.0 mg. undenatured whey protein nitrogen per gram of nonfat dry milk). In addition, the nonfat dry milk shall have a direct microscopic count not exceeding 75 million per gram. The age of the nonfat dry milk shall be covered by a USDA grading certificate, evidencing compliance with quality requirements, dated not more than 6 months prior to use of the dry milk. In the interim between manufacture and use, the nonfat dry milk shall be stored in a clean, dry, vermin-free space. In any case, if the nonfat dry milk is more than 120 days old, at time of use, it shall be examined for flavor to make certain that it meets the requirements for U.S. Extra Grade.

§58.527   Physical requirements.

(a) Flavor. The cottage cheese shall possess a mild pleasing flavor, similar to fresh whole milk or light cream and may possess the delicate flavor and aroma of a good lactic starter. The product may possess to a slight degree a feed, acid, or salty flavor but shall be free from chalky, bitter, utensil, fruity, yeasty, or other objectionable flavors.

(b) Body and texture. The curd particles shall have a meaty texture, but sufficiently tender to permit proper absorption of cream or cheese dressing. The texture shall be smooth and velvety and shall not be mealy, crumbly, pasty, sticky, mushy, watery, rubbery or slimy or possess any other objectionable characteristics of body and texture. Small curd style (cut with 14 inch knives) should have curd particles approximately 14 inch or less in size. Large curd style (cut with knives over 14 inch) should have curd particles approximately 38 inch or more in size.

(c) Color and appearance. The finished cottage cheese, creamed or plain curd, shall have an attractive natural color and appearance with curd particles of reasonably uniform size. The creamed cottage cheese shall be uniformly mixed with the cream or dressing properly absorbed or adhering to the curd so as to prevent excessive drainage.

§58.528   Microbiological requirements.

Compliance shall be based on 3 out of 5 consecutive samples taken at the time of packaging.

(a) Coliform. Not more than 10 per gram.

(b) Psychrotrophic. No more than 100 per gram.

(c) Yeasts and molds. Not more than 10 per gram.

§58.529   Chemical requirements.

(a) Moisture. See §58.505(b).

(b) Milkfat. See §58.505(b).

(c) pH. Not higher than 5.2.

(d) Phosphatase. Not more than 4 micrograms of phenol equivalent per gram of cheese.

§58.530   Keeping quality requirements.

Keeping quality samples taken from the packaging line shall be held at 45 °F. for 10 days. At the end of the 10 day period the samples shall possess a satisfactory flavor and appearance, and shall be free from bitter, sour, fruity, or other objectionable tastes and odors. The surface shall not be discolored, translucent, slimy or show any other objectionable condition.

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