WVC 19 -
CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.
WVC 19 - 11 D-
ARTICLE 11D. TRADITIONAL CHEESE PRODUCTION.
WVC 19 - 11 D- 1
§19-11D-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that local production and sale of
locally manufactured cheese products is a culturally significant
tradition and that the preservation of historic methods of cheese
production is in the public interest; that local cheese production
is an important part of the economic livelihood of many families
and small businesses in this state; and that the unique quality of
home and farm-based cheese products cannot be duplicated using
manufacturing and food production requirements enforced by local
boards of health. Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is in
the public interest to exempt certain local cheese production and
local cheese products from regulations of the division of health
related to food sanitation enforced by local boards of health, and
to place the production of certain home and farm-based cheese
products under the jurisdiction of the department of agriculture.
WVC 19 - 11 D- 2
§19-11D-2. Application of article
(a) In order for cheese production to fall within the
exemption created in section two of this article, all of the
following criteria must apply:
(1) The cheese must be manufactured at a home or farm-based
site using either raw milk from West Virginia cows, production of
which is regulated by the department of agriculture, or
commercially pasteurized cow's milk;
(2) The cheese products must be aged at least sixty days;
(3) The cheese products must be sold directly to the consumer
at the production site or marketed in local restaurants or local
small businesses not engaged in interstate commerce: Provided,
That for the purposes of this article, acceptance of a national
credit card shall not be construed as engaging in interstate
(b) The exemptions contained in this article are not
(1) Persons and businesses manufacturing more than five
thousand pounds of cheese products per year;
(2) Cheese products sold to the ultimate consumer outside the
borders of the state;
(3) Cheese products marketed by mail or on the internet; or
(4) Cheese products the sale or manufacture of which is
governed by applicable federal law.
WVC 19 - 11 D- 3
§19-11D-3. Exemption from regulatory control; authorizing rules by
the commissioner of agriculture.
The manufacture of cheese products described in section two of
this article is exempt from: (a) Pasteurization, packaging,
labeling and all other health related requirements established in
this code or rules promulgated by the division of health; and (b)
regulatory control by the division of health and county or local
health departments or sanitarians. Powers of the commissioner of
agriculture set forth in section ten, article eleven-a of this
chapter are applicable to the manufacturing of home and farm-based
cheese products described in section two of this article. The
commissioner of agriculture is authorized to promulgate rules
pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code,
considering and promoting traditional methods of cheese production,
while providing minimum health and sanitation standards necessary
for the protection of the public, including standards for
cleanliness, handling, and protection from contamination.
Emergency rules for this purpose are authorized.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session