Natural Springs Dairy Farmstead Cheese Needs Your Help

There has never been any report that cheese from Natural Springs Dairy has ever made anyone sick nor have there been any complaints filed about their cheese.

Natural Springs Dairy Farmstead Cheese Needs Your Help
Raw milk sales for human consumption are illegal in Florida. The state permits raw milk sales for animal consumption only. When you purchase raw milk in a farmers market, on a farmer or from a friend, please do not tell these folks if you plan to use these natural dairy products for yourself or for your family.

The following was received from a dairy vendor located in Putnam County, Florida, who attends the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market each Saturday in Fernandina Beach.

“I have not been able to sell cheese nor make cheese since March. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) put a ‘stop sale’ order on all the cheeses I have in inventory and prevented me from making cheese in my permitted cheese manufacturing plant.

FDACS shut me down claiming that I do not have an approved source for water and a proper way to dispose of waste water. I have begun the process of getting my water system approved so I can make cheese again. My water source and waste water was originally approved by the Bureau of Dairy Industry before I was permitted in 2011 and the bureau approved the water in Putnam County in 2013. Apparently this is not okay with the Food Safety Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection.

The FDACS Division of Food Safety put ‘stop sale’ orders on all the cheese because samples that an inspector took from batches of unfinished cheese tested high for e coli. The samples came from four batches, two of them tested negative for e coli. In past inspections, inspectors asked me which cheese was finished and ready to go to sale.

There has never been any report that cheese from Natural Springs Dairy has ever made anyone sick nor have there been any complaints filed about our cheese. There are many beneficial kinds of e. coli but FDACS never did further testing of the cheese to see if it had the kind that can make people sick.

Aside from having a cheese manufacturing permit, I also have a commercial feed license to sell pet food. I sell milk, cheese and other products under this license. A couple of years ago, cheese tested high for e. coli and the FDACS Bureau of Dairy Industry allowed us to sell that cheese as pet food.

On March 4, our facility was inspected by three inspectors from FDACS. The inspector from the Bureau of Dairy Industry gave me a score of 88; I would not have been shut down if this was the only inspection. The other inspectors, from the Bureau of FOOD and MEAT Inspection, only inspected out of spite when I refused to sign up for an additional permit that I believed I didn’t need to sell my cheese. This inspector was the one who sampled the unfinished cheese and put the ‘stop sale’ on my inventory then later shut down my facility. Prior to March, the Bureau of Dairy Industry had never given us a score below 90 in any inspection.

We have suffered huge losses in income over the past few months.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Florida consumers are being denied access to quality local cheese. Please send emails and follow up with phone calls. Whatever you can do is appreciated.

1. Please contact Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam asking him to remove the ‘stop sale’ order on cheese from Natural Spring Dairy so we can sell from my inventory.
Call FDACS at 1-800-435-7352 and ask for Commissioner Putnam.

Click HERE to email Ag Commissioner Putnam:

2. Contact my Florida legislators on my behalf asking them to urge Ag Commissioner Putnam to allow Martin Woods of Natural Springs Dairy to sell cheese from his inventory again.
Sen. John Thrasher – (904) 287-4222
Rep. Charles E. Van Zant – (850) 717-5019

3. Contact your state Senator and Representative asking them to urge Ag Commissioner Putnam to allow Martin Woods of Natural Springs Dairy to sell cheese from his inventory again.
Senators
Representatives

(Please share this to your friends.)

Thanks for your help,
Martin”

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!




SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Leave a Comment