The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a proposed exemption for certain cottage cheese products from the requirements of the Food Traceability Final Rule, fulfilling Subpart 204 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA 204).

In the Food Traceability Final Rule, FDA announced its intent to consider exempting cottage cheese regulated under the Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) from the rule’s requirements. The PMO represents the most current, science-based knowledge and experience concerning the safe production and processing of Grade “A” milk products, including cottage cheese.

Much of the cottage cheese produced in the U.S. is regulated through the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS), which relies on the PMO. Together, FDA and NCIMS have developed a cooperative, federal-state program—the Interstate Milk Shippers Program—to ensure the sanitary quality of milk and milk products shipped interstate. The proposed exemption would apply to all Grade “A” cottage cheese that appears on the Interstate Milk Shippers List.

Comments will be accepted on the proposed exemption until September 12, 2024. Electronic comments can be sent to, and written comments can be mailed to Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.