It seems almost impossible to get a straight answer from the EU, these days.
We’ve been endeavouring to determine just what we need to be testing our gelato for, in microbilogical terms. The Ice Cream Alliance (ICA) has guidelines on its website; however these were published in 1995 by the UK Government & have since been superceded by a new EU directive. However, the directive is monumentally nebulous (as anyone involved with the pasteurisation of dairy produce will be aware) – hence the ICA has left things as they stand to at least take a ‘belt-&-braces’ approach & avoid confusion: better test for too much than too little.
One crucial part of my HACCP Plan is the Microbiological Testing Statement; & until we’re able to clarify this we’re unable to make gelato at Food Centre Wales. However because the EU guidelines are so nebulous the local Environmental Health Department won’t commit themselves to a decision….& until they do, we can’t start work.
Subsequently we paid a visit to Food Centre Wales to discuss the matter with the staff there, who appreciate that we really want to roll up our sleeves & get started as soon as possible. And they’re on the case…hopefully we’ll have an answer by Monday.
In the meantime we paid a visit to Pam over at Scotland Hill Farm, collecting a set of hurdles & a freezer we’d purchased at the Farm Sale last Friday. A misty drizzle washed over their pastoral valley obscuring the hills beyond as we contemplated the quagmire of her fields following the Farm Sale, & gloomily discussed the prospect of ever being able to salvage our hay crop – we’re all praying for the increasingly unlikely Indian Summer.
On our return we stacked the hurdles in the lambing shed & secured the freezer, filling it with lots of lovely ice cream for (as ever) we are rapidly running out…..roll on the day when we can make more, much more.