Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started collecting public comments on cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Agency officials want any information or scientific data that would help them identify and evaluate measures that might minimize the impact of pathogens in raw milk cheese. The action is partly based on the findings from a joint FDA/Health Canada Quantitative Risk Assessment released Friday that included estimates for both countries of the number of servings resulting in one case of invasive listeriosis, prevalence of contaminated servings, and level of increased risk of invasive listeriosis per serving of raw milk cheese. The potential health risks associated with consumption of cheese made from unpasteurized milk are greatest for people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women and children. “The FDA recognizes that there is broad diversity in cheese manufacturing operations and approaches and that many factors go into ensuring the safety of the food,” the agency stated Friday in announcing the data call. “In issuing this call for data and information, we are interested in learning more about the standards and practices in use by a wide variety of producers, including the growing artisanal cheese manufacturing community.” The public comment period will remain open for 90 days from Aug. 3. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)