Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Tillamook products made?
After more than 100 years and growing demand, we’re making more products than ever before where it all began, in Tillamook, Oregon. While there’s no limit to the ingenuity, hard work, and commitment of Tillamook’s people, there is a limit to our natural resources and production capacity. So, we do make some of our products outside of Tillamook, but we aren’t taking Tillamook out of any of our products. We insist on working only with best-in-class partners including dairy farmers, production facilities and distribution centers. The vast majority (more than 90 percent) of Tillamook Cheeses are made at our cheesemaking factories in Tillamook and Boardman, Oregon. A few of our other cheeses are made by industry partners outside of Oregon who have the appropriate equipment and expertise for those specific flavors. Much of our Tillamook Ice Cream is also made at our factory in Tillamook, Oregon. As we’ve reached our production capacity there, we have added some ice cream production capacity with industry partners to meet the needs of our consumers beyond the Northwest. Because of the specialty equipment required to make yogurt, sour cream, butter, and cream cheese spreads, we work with industry partners with expertise in making dairy products to make each of these products. Whenever partners are involved, we work very closely with them to approve the recipes and specifications, and the recipes for Tillamook products remain the same no matter where the product is made. And, our Tillamook quality assurance and sensory teams taste and test every Tillamook product, ensuring all of our partners meet our exact quality requirements to make products with the high standards Tillamook fans have come to expect.
What does the code date mean on Tillamook products?
The code date is a “best by” date that reflects the freshness and quality of the product. It’s best to use the product before the code date on the package. As always, use your best judgment – if a dairy product doesn’t look, smell or taste quite right, it’s best to throw it out.
I’m a student doing research. Can I get information about your company?
Our website is a great resource for information about our products, history and evolution as a company. If you don’t see everything you’re looking for on our website, please send additional questions to us through our Contact Us page. We’ll do our very best to answer them for you without compromising internal proprietary information. Thanks for thinking of us as a subject for your research project!
How can I serve Tillamook products at my restaurant or store?
Will TCCA donate to my organization or sponsor my event?
Thanks for thinking of us! As I’m sure you can understand, we receive hundreds of donation requests throughout the year. We ask that you fill out our donation form on our website for our Donations team to review. For any questions or concerns, our Consumer Relations team would be happy to help.
Do you make Bandon Cheese?
Yes, we do! Bandon is a pasteurized cheddar made with milk from cows not treated with rBST*. Through a subsidiary, we have owned the cheese factory in Bandon, Oregon and the Bandon® cheese trademark since 2000. Here’s a little more history on our relationship with Bandon® cheese if you’re interested… After the Coquille Valley Farmers Co-op became insolvent in 1986, a series of owners of the cheese factory in Bandon, Oregon struggled to profitably operate the cheese plant and store. When the owners of the cheese factory in Bandon, Oregon put the company up for sale, we believed that buying it would ensure its longevity and maintain the Oregon heritage Bandon, Oregon shares with Tillamook, Oregon. Unfortunately, as we began operating in Bandon, Oregon, we came to the realization that milk supply was not available locally in the volume or at the quality we desired, and the production facility itself was significantly below our standards for creating a consistent product. Our first step to ensure we could continue to produce Bandon® cheese safely with the quality standards we require was to move production of Bandon® cheese to our facility in Tillamook, Oregon and, later to our subsidiary, Columbia River Processing, in Boardman, Oregon. We continued to operate the visitor’s retail store in Bandon, Oregon for several years, despite declining sales, until late 2005, when dangers from the deteriorating building forced us to close it down and demolish the building. After leasing the property for many years to the City of Bandon, in 2011 the City of Bandon purchased the property where the Bandon® cheese factory once stood. We are proud to continue to honor the Bandon® cheese heritage today, by making Bandon® cheddar which is currently sold at retailers throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
*All farmers who supply milk for Bandon cheddar pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. The FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.
Where can I find you on social media?
What’s the best way to contact a Tillamook Cheese representative?
Have a question, suggestion, or compliment? We’d love to hear from you! Please visit our Contact Us page to get in touch with our team. You can also call us toll-free at 1-855-562-3568.
Is the packaging used for Tillamook products recyclable?
Currently, the packaging for our yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese spreads is a recyclable polypropylene material. Our butter boxes and ice cream sandwich boxes are made of a recyclable material. For all of these products, we recommend checking your local recycling program guidelines to ensure they’d be accepted.
Our cheese packaging is not recyclable at this time. Depending on the cut (i.e. loaf, shredded, sliced, snack, etc.) it is wrapped in either hi-barrier plastic shrink bags or hayssen roll stock films. This packaging material protects the product and prevents mold and moisture loss, which in turn helps reduce post-consumer waste to landfill. Plastic also reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses. Packaging plays an important role in protecting food from damage and contamination, and extends the useful life of food items on the retail shelf and at home, thus potentially reducing wasted food and its environmental impacts.
Our family-size ice cream containers and Tillamook Frozen Custards containers are not recyclable, because they have a wax coating which helps prevent the container from getting wet and losing its shape over time in the freezer.
We regularly monitor updates on the recycling market, and our packaging engineers are currently and continuously monitoring opportunities for material reduction during the R&D process. Additionally, they are also looking into incorporating Post Consumer Recycled Content, increasing reusability, and exploring compostable options.
Learn more about our commitment to making progress and do right with our packaging choices here.
Are Tillamook products made with pasteurized ingredients?
All Tillamook products are made with pasteurized milk and cream, with the exception of our aged cheeses. Our aged cheddars (i.e. our Medium Cheddar and longer-aged, or sharper) and Swiss cheese are made with heat-shocked milk, which means that the milk is heated to a slightly lower temperature than a full pasteurization. This process kills the same unwanted bacteria that the pasteurization process does, but it leaves behind some good bacteria that is important for building flavor in these cheeses. Per federal guidelines, we always age these cheeses for a minimum of 60 days to ensure that they are completely safe to eat.
The egg yolks used in our Tillamook Ice Cream recipes are fully pasteurized.
If pregnant, we recommend checking with your doctor if you have any additional concerns.
Do you make beef jerky and other meat products?
We do not! You may be thinking of Tillamook Country Smoker, who is a few miles up the road from us in Tillamook: https://tcsjerky.com/pages/contact-us