USDA Wants To Buy Barrels, Milk; Seeks Input On Mozz Specification

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Wednesday invited offers to sell 1,468,800 pounds of natural American cheese in 500-pound barrels for delivery in September 2024.

The barrels are being purchased for use in domestic food distribution programs.

Bids are due by 1:00 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, July 17. This solicitation is unrestricted. Products offered in response to the solicitation must be manufactured in a plant approved by USDA Dairy Programs.
Purchases will be made on an f.o.b destination basis to cities listed on the solicitation. Destination quantities listed are estimates and subject to adjustment based on offerings, changes in recipient needs, market conditions, and program operations.

Offerors are cautioned to bid only quantities they can reasonably expect to produce and deliver.

USDA this week also issued a solicitation seeking to purchase 3,762,900 containers of fluid milk for delivery during October, November and December 2024. The milk is being purchased for use in federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

USDA is specifically seeking to purchase 280,800 gallons and 850,500 half-gallons of 1 percent milk; 828,000 gallons and 1,717,200 half-gallons of 2 percent milk; and 86,400 gallons of skim milk.

Bids are due by 1:00 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, July 23. This purchase is unrestricted. This is a firm fixed price solicitation. Offerors are cautioned to bid only quantities they can reasonably expect to produce and deliver.

Offers under both of these solicitations must be submitted electronically via the Web-Based Supply Chain Management System (WBSCM).
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In other commodity procurement news, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking industry and public comment on a new Draft Mozzarella Cheese Commodity Requirements Document (CRD).

Updates to the Mozzarella CRD include requirements for shredded cheese, microbiological requirements, new material and requirements for bulk products for further processing (processor packs), primary and secondary container labeling, and other changes.

Regarding packaging and labeling, the production date (month/day/year) has to be labeled as such and be shown on all primary packaging (immediate containers) and secondary shipping containers. Common abbreviations for the production date may be used.

For primary containers six pounds and smaller (net weight), labels must also meet the following criteria: must include, at a minimum, two colors, in addition to black and white; must incorporate a graphic (photo or illustration) depicting the product/contents on the principal display panel or contain a clear viewing window so product/contents are visible; and the statement “DO NOT FREEZE” has to be placed on all outer shipping containers for the Chilled Bulk Processor Packs, String Cheese, and Shredded products.

In the area of product liability, for chilled String cheese, the contractor will be liable for losses due to excessive deterioration, mold development, and/or spoilage which are discovered within
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