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Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe

 
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2008 03:38 AM
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Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe
Every morning Pina Del Vecchio opens her small cheese factory and shop on the outskirts of Caserta, a city in Campania, in the south of Italy. But business is slow these days, and even if she wanted to, she "couldn't sell a kilo!" she screamed during a phone interview with ABC News.

Like many other cheese producers in the region, Del Vecchio is a victim of the mozzarella scare, which started when higher-than-permitted levels of cancer-causing dioxin were found in buffalo milk and mozzarellas.

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The news, published in the national newspaper La Repubblica, prompted the Japanese and North Korean governments to block all imports of the cheese from Italy while thousands of kilos of mozzarella remained stuck at customs in Tokyo. Only today, after days of checks, has the blockade been lifted.

In an effort to ease the panic, the Italian health ministry has increased safety checks. The ministry's research found that 25 out of 130 tested cheese factories had traces of dioxin that an official statement classified as "moderately higher than the limit allowed by the European Union regulations."

Consequently, 83 dairy farms that ship buffalo milk to the concerned cheese factories have been sealed off and are undergoing more safety tests, and prosecutors in Naples have placed 109 people under investigation in connection with the inquiry, on suspicion of fraud and food poisoning.

After initially accusing Italy of not taking adequate measures to stop contaminated mozzarellas from hitting the shelves of European markets, the European Union has been satisfied with the action that Italian officials have taken to fulfill the European requests to deal with the case.


Garbage Crisis to Blame?
The cause of the contamination is still a matter of discussion inside Italy.

It is not yet clear what, if any, role Campania's garbage crisis has had in the mozzarella contamination. Health officials believe the waste management crisis that exploded in the area around Naples a few months ago, inundating cities and villages with uncollected rubbish only a few months ago, might account for the higher level of dioxin.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/30/2008 03:41 AM
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Re: Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe
hiding
Anonymous Coward
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03/30/2008 04:28 AM
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Re: Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe
Isn't bad Mozzarella in Italy one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse?
dofzion  (OP)

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03/30/2008 04:31 AM
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Re: Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe
Isn't bad Mozzarella in Italy one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 330204

wtf
Who so boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
Ignatius J. Reilly
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03/30/2008 06:09 AM
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Re: Mozzarella Meltdown: Cheese Deemed Unsafe
[link to news.softpedia.com]



Bangs Leaves Us Without High Quality Pizza
- Brucellosis threatens the Italian production of mozzarella
By: Stefan Anitei, Science Editor


Enlarge picture
You may call pizza any thick mass of dough with added ordinary cheese and, a crime for any real pizza connoisseur, ketchup. But real pizza is made with mozzarella cheese, a delicacy made from the fat rich water buffalo milk.

Now, the Italian production of mozzarella is threatened by a deadly disease spreading through its herds of water buffalo. An emergency commission is attempting to stop the spread of the disease, which plummets the buffalo milk production.

The region of Campania, around Naples, hosts large buffalo herds, but up to 30% of them are now reported to be infected. This is the home of mozzarella di bufala, an essential pizza ingredient and also one of Italy's most recognizable export trademarks.

But the famous cheese is confronting a crisis: in two months the Italian government is going to sacrifice 32,000 buffaloes infected with Brucellosis (also called Bang's disease or bangs), caused by the highly infectious Brucella bacterium, that induces in livestock abortion, sterility and decreased milk production. Each infected buffalo will be burned and the action will cost to the Italian government about 66 million Euro ($97 million).

Water buffaloes
Enlarge picture
Humans can catch the infection as well, but pasteurized milk is perfectly safe. Brucellosis has been lingering in the area for 10 years, but local vets involved in stopping the epidemics might have been forced not to do it by the local mafia, the Camorra, who owns some of the farms, this explaining the spread to 30% of the herd.

Caserta, one of the most important places of mozzarella production, experiences the highest rates of infection.

"This will lead to a shortage of supply and speculation which will put prices up mozzarella is not only a prime domestic product but it is also one of Italy's main exports. This means that price rises will also be felt overseas and production will be down as a result of the cull," Andrea Cozzolino, the Campania region's agriculture chief, said.


cunt ass mafia
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11/23/2020 12:01 PM
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peace
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11/23/2020 12:02 PM
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