PARIS: Soft European cheese has fallen on hard times in China. Customs officials have banned a host of soft, mould-ripened cheese for containing “too much bacteria”, with authorities reportedly alarmed the mould contained colonies of bacteria that had not been officially approved.
The ban mainly affects French and Italian cheese, including brie, camembert, gorgonzola and roquefort, as well as the English delicacy stilton.
Sinodis, a distributor of foreign-based cheeses in Shanghai, sent a letter to customers announcing “cheese products containing certain moulds cannot temporarily be imported in China”. The company has stopped importing a laundry list of nearly 50 kinds of cheese since 23 August. The ban started in July in some cities, but was expanded nationwide this week.