I's true that the Alp cheesemakers can get away with a lot more than we can here at home. However, it's also the case that their climate is a whole lot healthier and cleaner, and we simply have to take more precautions than they do in order to be safe. Some of our regulations are stupid to be sure, but it really isn't fair to look at them and see their lack of 'cleanliness' and think we could get away with the same things here. In Indiana, we certainly could not. We just live in a hotter, wetter, dirtier environment than someone who is 6000 feet up in the mountains.
The Alp where I learned was above the little village of Kiental, and on the other side of the ridge stood the village of Frutigen,in clear weather they have a great outlook on the high Alps to the east and the Thunersee to the North. The peak of the Gehrihorn is just a short walk away. Brienz is really quite a ways off, in Swiss terms anyway, and hard to get to since there are 2 lakes in the way, and a few mountains.
Down in lower elevations there are some much more modern setups, and really quite a few of the Alps anymore are a little more modern than this one happens to be.
The folks I was with are actually some of the regions finest cheesemakers -their cheeses always make the top grade when the governing body who oversees the AOC (CASALP) checks them each year. The only problem they run into is occasional eyes in the Cheese. Eyes are not desired in Berner Alpkäse, and they show the growth of Prop. Shermanii, or a similar bacteria, which yields off-flavors that while desired in Emmentaler (the Emmental is a much warmer environment, located just to the north of the Berner Oberland) are certainly not wanted in Alpkäse. They won't sell the cheese if it has got eyes in it. They get eyes because on occasion a cheese gets too warm during the first period of aging, when it is kept in the Alp-house, but after 10 days of washing, it is moved to a better-controlled cellar that is built into the side of the mountain. (they want their cheese to age between 55-60 degrees F or thereabouts with as high humidity as they can get)
And those cheeses on the shelf from Austria, I can tell you right now that they have eyes! look at the slight swell... We have some cheeses aging right now that certainly have got a few small eyes in them, but hopefully they will be OK.