Cheese making generally is a dedicated process for each type of cheese, and there are very few chances of cross-contamination. It also is a fixed process, requiring few changes, if any, during the year. Instead of this less chance of cross-contamination still there are some Halal Control Points, which need to be considered by the manufacturer of the processor of the Cheese, Whey and even in the preparing Salad Dressing from Cheese.
HCP-1: Raw Milk
In the most of the countries, most of the milk is cow or buffalo’s milk unless specified otherwise; for example, cheeseVis and other products because of customer’s demand are also made from sheep and goat’s milk. Other sources of milk may be used as long as they are Halal.
HCP-2: Additions of Enzymes, Cultures, and Colors
This is the most critical point in cheese manufacture because enzymes used can be from haram or halal animals as well as from microorganisms. For universal acceptance, enzymes should be of microbial origin and other ingredients should be free from doubtful ingredients. The use of these ingredients should be properly documented.
One must make sure that, not only the ingredient itself but also other materials which might be added to the main ingredient to standardize or stabilize it.
After the cheese is processed and ready to be stored for aging or ripening, mold and bacteria can be applied to its surface to be incorporated internally. Preservatives such as sorbates, propionate, or natamycin can also be applied where cheese is ripened without providing any specified cultures in order to inhibit mold growth. All these specialized chemicals must conform to Halal guidelines, provided by authenticated national (local) or international Halal certifying bodies.
Finally, packaging must be done in clean halal suitable bags, wrappers, or boxes. If wax is applied as a moisture barrier or preservative, it must be of clean halal quality. Labels should have clear halal markings. It is advisable to use the description microbial enzymes if microbial enzymes are used.