Tainted Italian Mozzarella Prompts Multinational Ban

April 01, 2008 12:04 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
China and Singapore joined the roster of countries shunning Italy’s famous buffalo mozzarella cheese following reports of dioxin contamination.

30-Second Summary

Both China and Singapore placed restrictions over the weekend on sales of Italian mozzarella cheese from the Campania region of the country’s south. China banned imports of the cheese, while Singapore halted market sales. France and Japan have also instituted similar measures.

Buffalo mozzarella, which costs twice as much as mozzarella made from cow’s milk, is one of Italy’s culinary specialties. The cheese from the affected factories might have been tainted through the use of contaminated cattle feed.

Italy is proud of its national cuisine, and this development is not taken lightly. Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti said, “Adding insult to injury the ban … is decided by a country like China whose exports have created alarm across the world.”

Italian cheesemakers also took out full-page ads in newspapers Friday in an effort to convince consumers at home that the cheese is now safe.

“People see what is happening and they are scared,” said an anonymous cheesemonger in Milan. “There has been a small impact. We put up the certificate to show where our product comes from and that helps.”

Cheese lovers who miss eating Italian varieties of the dairy product should consider looking into other varieties. For example, there is Casu Marzu from Sardinia, also known as “maggot cheese.” Despite appearances to the contrary, this is not an April Fool.

See Reuters coverage

Headline Links: China and Singapore ban Italian mozzarella

Related Topics: Italians wary of mozzarella, but eat on

Related links: Maggot cheese


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines