The New York Times reports raw cheese artisans may deal with tighter regulations on unpasteurized cheese that will result in a less tasteful product that isn’t much safer for consumers.

E. coli outbreaks that have sickened nearly 50 people have been blamed on raw cheese products. As a result federal regulations are expected within the next year. Current rules require unpasteurized cheese to age for 60 days before it is safe to eat. Scientists say the blanket rule is over-simplified and more specific rules should be set for certain cheeses.

The FDA conducted a review of raw cheese in 2009 and is awaiting approval prior to its release. Cheesemakers and foodies are worried the results will restrict or even ban some types of raw cheeses. Some raw cheese products become more expensive to produce if the ageing process is extended.

A review of raw milk was conducted by the FDA over a decade ago, but never reached any conclusions. The dairy product is growing in popularity, reviving an interest in regulations and safety concerns.

Source: The New York Times