Mozzarella Arrests: This Really Happened.
Holy cow, but those Italian folks take their pizza cheese seriously.
Fox News reports that 13 people were arrested in Italy for making subpar mozzarella cheese. But wait, it gets better.
The entire thing started because some guy lost some fingers. This is not the premise of a Coen Brothers movie, though it should be.
It all breaks down like this. Real mozzarella cheese is made from Italian buffalo milk, not regular old cow’s milk. If it is made from cow’s milk, that is “fior di latte”. The distinction is important due to health inspection protocols. If a factory says it is making one kind of foodstuff, it should not be sneaking in materials other than what it says it is using.
And this particular factory where the arrests were made was using imported cow’s milk, which is cheaper, mixed in with their buffalo milk, without declaring it to inspectors. The resultant mixture, in this case, contained 2,000 times the recommended bacteria limit.
The cheese maker, Cantile di Sparanise, had also removed some required safety equipment to speed up production. As a result, a worker lost some fingers. The accident spurred an inspection of the facility, which led to the discovery of the adulterated milk.
It also turns out that the company had once belonged to a trade consortium of farmers that protects the integrity of the mozzarella process in the region by providing a seal of approval to makers who meet its standards. They had revoked this particular maker’s membership, but the company continued to use its seal on their products.
Seven stores selling the adulterated cheese in the region were also shut down.
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