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Traditional Dairy Section

Scope & Duties

 

Maltese Traditional Cheeselets


The Veterinary Regulation Directorate (VRD) Cheeselet Section carries out regular official controls and follow-ups on farms producing Maltese traditional and artisanal cheeselets like ġbejniet, to verify the Food Business Operator’s (FBO) compliance with relevant Hygiene Package Regulations in particular: Council Regulation (EC) 852/2004 and Council Regulation (EC) 853/2004 of the Hygiene Package, and Regulation 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs and amendments.


Photos of Maltese Gbejniet (different tastes and consistency) 

For those intending to sell their product on the local and EU Market, the Cheeselet Section will evaluate conformity of that establishment with relevant regulations and, if compliant, recommend that approval be granted to that establishment.

The Official controls on establishments producing traditional and artisanal  cheese take into consideration the European Community Guide called “Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese and Dairy Producer’s European Guide for Good Hygiene Practices” which has been produced by the EU to help food business operators, especially small and medium family business  to implement good hygiene practices and permanent procedures based on the principles of HACCP as per article 9 of Regulation (EC) N°852/2004 on the hygiene foodstuffs maintaining the artisanal process method close to the traditional production
 
The veterinary inspections are conducted by visiting the holdings in order to assess the hygiene practice during milking and cheeselet production.

 Photo of sheep with the yellow ear tagsPhoto of a little lamb 

Based on the Hygiene Package, the main aims of the cheeselet section are the follow: 

 

1. Milking Hygiene: 


The veterinary inspectors will verify the basic hygienic requirement for the milking area and the milking operation in line with relevant regulations on the health of the milking animals and their welfare status. These parameters are linked to the good hygiene practice and good farm management practice that must be applied on farms rearing animals to produce food for human consumption.  Testing of milk used for the production of cheeselets for the presence of residues may also form part of this sections official controls in line with EU legislation.


2. Dairy Production Hygiene:  ​


Photo of the room were cheeselets are produced, were everything is of stainless steel and very clean 
 
The FBO is legally responsible to ensure food safety in all stages of production, processing and distribution of his final product. The Official controls include inspections on the dairy premises to verify if the FBO‘s activity is in line with the hygiene package regulations including labelling. The main checks in the dairy establishment include checks on the structure, operational hygiene, personnel training, microbiological analysis carried out by FBO on swabs taken from the production area and microbiological analysis on each final product placed on the Market; and the efficiency of FBO corrective actions in case of non-conformity 

A cup of Traditional Maltese ice-cream made of sheep milk and a tea spoon 
  
 
 
 

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