Control processing to produce processed cheese

Business Sectors (Suites): Dairy
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard covers the skills and knowledge needed for you to produce processed cheese in food and drink manufacture and or supply operations. Knowing how to produce the correct specification of processed cheese is important to the production of a final product that adheres to regulatory food safety and organisational quality and yield specifications.

The primary raw material could be from a variety of sources (e.g. milk from sheep, goat, cow and buffalo). Processed cheese is made from natural cheese, which has to be produced first.

You will need to know how to prepare equipment to produce processed cheese and control the processed cheese making process. You must also know how to adhere to regulatory standards and standard operating procedures. You must be able to apply your skills and knowledge within food safety regulations and any relevant international industry codes especially when referring to HACCP, TACCP and VACCP.

This standard is for you if you work in food and drink manufacture and/or supply operations and are involved in producing processed cheese.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. prepare to receive prepared cheese from upstream processing equipment/storage and associated compliance documentation
2. use the correct personal protective equipment
3. check organisational standard operating procedures and product recipes relating to the production of processed cheese
4. check that all necessary plant, equipment, plans for production, ingredients and services are available and fit for use
5. check documentation to ensure plant is ready for use
6. start up and control dairy processing equipment within the limits of your responsibility
7. work at a pace suitable to meet the production plan
8. adjust equipment to maintain organisational product specifications
9. take representative samples for testing adhering to organisational sampling plan within the limits of your responsibility
10. evaluate faults for impact on product and processing equipment operations within the limits of your responsibility
11. make dairy product available to next stage of processing or packaging
12. prepare for changeover of product recipe or packaging in line with organisational requirements
13. prepare to handover process on shift changeover in line with organisational requirements
14. deal with product waste in line with legislation and organisational requirements
15. liaise with relevant personnel to prepare plant for shutdown
16. process and route interphase product
17. establish and maintain effective spoken, written and electronic communication with relevant people
18. complete the necessary documentation and process to organisational requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the food safety aspects of the production of processed cheese products including HACCP, TACCP and VACCP
2. the dairy science underpinning processed cheese in production
3. the health and safety aspects associated with the process
4. the regulations relating to the composition requirements for different types of processed cheese
5. the key stages in the production of processed cheese
6. the function of the key ingredients needed to make processed cheese: cheese, stabilisers, emulsifiers, saturated vegetable oils, extra salt, food colorings, whey or sugar.
7. effects different cheese grades have on the final product quality
8. how to adjust the process controls in response to quality testing, to ensure the processed cheese meets organisational final product quality and yield specifications
9. common faults occurring in processed cheese and how they occur
10. how to maintain communication with relevant people when producing commercial cheese
11. how to control equipment to ensure the commercial cheese meets organisational final product quality, yield and productivity specifications
12. common sources of contamination during processing, how to avoid these and what might happen if this is not done
13. how to deal with product that can be re-cycled or re-worked
14.  the hygienic design of processed cheese plant
15. packaging technology associated with processed cheese
16. final product suitability for onward processing: wrapping, canning, slicing, cooking, spreading, squeezing/extrusion
17. how the manufacture process and support operations  use digital technologies rather than paper based systems to monitor and control production


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Preparation Trades, Manufacturing Technologies, Process Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



Dairy; artisan; cheese; product; food; drink; yield; quality; ingredients