Cheese Composition Standards Verification
4. Inspection Procedures at Registered Dairy Establishments

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This activity should be performed in conjunction with one or more other product inspection activity(ies) such as Ingredient, Label or Nutrition Facts Table Verifications. When possible, if a sample has been scheduled for collection from a facility under the D116 sample plan, a Cheese Composition Standard Verification should be performed and the D116 sample taken from the cheese formulation selected for verification. Plan D116 has been expanded to include protein analysis as well as the percentage of moisture and milk fat of cheese.

Unlike an in-depth inspection, no advance notice should be given prior to a Cheese Composition Standard Verification. Verifications should be scheduled so that they are conducted throughout the year. More than one composition verification can be done in a single visit.

4.1 Preparation

Prior to the verification activity, review the plant profile to determine which cheese varieties are made in the establishment and, if known, the number of formulas used per variety. Compositional requirements differ for full fat and light versions of cheese varieties. Light versions are considered to be a separate variety. See Appendix I for a list of cheese varieties grouped by % CDM.

The number of verifications will vary based on the type and number of cheese varieties produced in an establishment and the plant's compliance history. Refer to the dairy operational workplan for the frequency of inspection.

During each verification, a sample is taken and submitted under plan D116 for fat, moisture and protein analysis.

4.2 Selection of Cheese Formulation

To provide the most effective verification of cheese composition, the following factors should be considered when determining which cheese formulation should be selected

  • the cheese is produced for sale in Canada (cheese destined for export is not subject to Canadian compositional standards)
  • formulations that use milk products other than fluid milks and cream (compliance for formulations using only fluid milks will be verified during an ingredient verification). It does not necessarily include a cheese formulation when the other milk ingredients are only used in small amounts in the starter media
  • varieties with several formulations using different amounts of milk products (formulations using higher proportions of milk products are likely to be closer to the regulatory limit)
  • the quantities of each variety produced (variety selected should be representative of the plant's production). See Appendix II for a listing of the major cheese varieties by Canadian production quantities
  • if the plant produces cheese from the different categories of minimum amount of % CDM (i.e. 95% CDM, 83% CDM etc.), a cheese from each category produced should be evaluated over a one year period
  • where possible, select a cheese formulation with a lot that is available in the establishment for sampling

4.3 Review of Records (batch/vat records, lab analysis records and milk invoices)

Review previous batch/vat records over a one month period for the cheese formulation selected for verification. Select a month of records, preferably from a month prior to the inspection, for which the milk invoice has been received by the plant. From that month, randomly select three batch records of the same variety of cheese from different dates. When a lot is available in the establishment, the records for that particular lot should be one of the three records selected. If three batches using the same formulation have not been produced within a one month period, this timeframe can be lengthened so as to include a sufficient number of records from which three batches can randomly be chosen. For establishments that manufacture cheese through a continuous process, and for which individual vats cannot be easily separated, an entire production run must be considered as one lot or batch.

The chosen batch records should contain the following information:

  • the date of production
  • the vat number
  • the type of cheese
  • the formulation name/number or reference
  • the quantity of milk, partly skimmed milk, skim milk and their ultra-filtered counterparts and cream used in the vat/batch
  • for each milk/cream used, the fat and protein content (if not available on the batch record, this information is to be provided by the company from plant lab testing results or Milk Marketing Board invoices)
  • the final weight of cheese produced and, if available, its total protein content
  • % fat and % moisture of the cheese produced

4.4 Collection of Data

While at the establishment, use the Cheese Composition Verification Worksheet (Appendix III), to gather the necessary information supplied by the company. Copies of records or documents used to fill out the information should be attached to the worksheet. Fill in all mandatory fields, A through F. For establishments using a continuous process it may difficult to compile all the data required at the plant. In these cases it may be necessary to complete the worksheet back at the office. Refer to the explanations for each field below.

Table 1: Example of Cheese Composition Verification Worksheet Guide
Table - Example of Cheese Composition Verification Worksheet Guide. Description follows.
Description of Table 1

Example of Cheese Composition Verification Worksheet Guide describing cheese variety, formulation, Vat and required % CDM. Includes columns for Ingredients , Volume, Fat Concentration, Protein Concentration, Adjusted Casein number and Casein from milk. Columns A, B, C and D are explained in the text that follows.

Column A: List all milk, partly skimmed milk, skimmed milk and their ultrafiltered (UF) counterparts and cream used in column A of the worksheet. The last row of this column is kept for UF milk only due to programmed calculations in the Excel spreadsheet. UF milk, as defined in the DPR, means, milk, partly skimmed milk or skim milk that has been subjected to a process in which it is passed over one or more semi-permeable membranes to partially remove water, lactose, minerals and water-soluble vitamins without altering the whey protein to casein ratio and that results in a liquid product. The UF milk must meet this definition in order to be considered as part of the casein derived from milks.

Column B: Enter the quantity (in hl) for each ingredient in column A. To convert from litres, kg, or lbs, see conversion factors in Appendix IV.

Column C: Enter the fat concentration in kg/hl or % for each ingredient in column A. The fat concentration should be taken from the company's inline analysis. If not available, lab tested values can be used. Values calculated from the Milk Marketing Board monthly invoices may be used if no other values are available. The values must represent each individual milk, not the final blend in the vat. (To convert inline analysis or lab tested values from kg/kg to kg/hl see Appendix IV).

Column D: Enter the protein concentration for each ingredient in column A. The protein concentration should be taken from the company's inline analysis. If not available, lab tested values can be used. Values calculated from the Milk Marketing Board monthly invoices may be used if other values are not available. For cream, see Table 1 below for protein values based on fat levels. The values must represent each individual milk, not the final blend in the vat. To convert lab tested values from kg/kg to kg/hl see Appendix IV.

Table 2: Protein values for cream
MF Protein (kg/hl or % milk)
0.5 – Skim-milk 3.5
10 3.166
12 3.095
15 2.990
18 2.884
20 2.814
30 2.462
31 2.427
32 2.392
33 2.357
34 2.322
35 2.286
36 2.251
37 2.216
38 2.181
39 2.146
40 2.110
41 2.075
42 2.040
43 2.005
44 1.970
45 1.935

For Columns C and D: All plant analyses or lab tested values used should be cross-checked with the Milk Marketing Board monthly invoices for gross variations. When using values from the monthly invoice, the plant should indicate which class (3a, 3b or 5a) of milk was used in the formulation being assessed. Refer to Appendix V for milk class definitions).

If the fat and protein concentrations are not listed on the Milk Marketing Board invoice in kg/hl, the following formula, which incorporates the weight (kg) of fat/protein and the total volume (hl) for the class of milk used, should be applied;

For example:

kg of fat or protein in class x milk divided by hl of class x milk = kg/hl fat or protein in class x milk

Box E: Record the total weight (kg) of cheese produced for that vat/batch of cheese and must also include the weight (kg) of any wastage (as provided by the plant), i.e. cheese fines or any additional curds that may get discarded.

Note: For continuous processes, where information is available on a single vat basis as well as the total production, both the individual and cumulative data should be collected. This will allow for more information to be gathered on how the plant controls its process. The calculations will be based on the cumulative data so the total volume of inputs to all vats should be used in column B. The total weight of cheese produced from all vats is entered in Box E.

Box F: Record the total protein content (%) in the finished cheese. The total protein content of the cheese is taken from the results of the CFIA laboratory analysis. The box will be left blank until the lab analysis results are received.

Repeat this process 2 more times until the 3 vat/batch records selected have been reviewed and the data for each entered into the Cheese Composition Verification Worksheet. (Appendix III). For continuous processes, repeat this process until 3 different days/runs have been assessed. All vats from a single day/run are combined to equal one set of values.

Compliance cannot be determined until the data collected is transferred to the Excel Cheese Composition Verification Report.

Discuss the collection of the data with the plant representative and have the representative sign the worksheet. Record the activity on the CFIA/ACIA 950 form. In the event that the worksheet cannot be completed at the establishment because of the amount of calculations that may be required, the plant representative should sign the CFIA/ACIA 950 form.

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