Both South Korea and Japan have impounded suspect shipments of Italian mozzarella after finding high levels of dioxins in the tasty dairy product.
But Italy has hit back, with agriculture minister Paolo De Castro declaring, "It would be an error to infer anything from this and create a dangerous panic. That would turn this story into a negative campaign that unfairly compromises the image of an excellent product and which risks becoming heavily penalised in Italy and abroad.”
He even went as far as to say the cheese found in Korea wasn’t Italian but “fake” mozzarella, presumeably from an international network of cheese fraudsters. We blame the danes…
However Italy has since shut down cheese production at a number of farms after finding higher than allowed levels of dioxin. The EU is also mulling a ban on mozzarella amid concerns the problem could be linked to piles of uncollected rubbish resulting from a strike in Naples or even illegal dumping of toxic waste by the Mafia.
So the last thing Italian cheese makers need is this to be given a catch name and become another massive food safety scare. Too late! Canada’s Globe and Mail has declarded it “Mad Buffalo cheese disease”, and noted “Not only is mozzarella a dietary staple, it is a symbol of Italy’s glorious food culture. Shame on mozzarella translates into shame on Italy.”
Image: Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org