German Cheese Factory Shut Down Amid Probe | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 05.07.2008
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German Cheese Factory Shut Down Amid Probe

A German cheese factory has been ordered to suspend sales amid a wider inquiry into claims that mouldy Italian cheese had been passed off as new, police said Saturday.

a man cuts into a gorgonzola that lies next to a mozarella and sliced cheese on a board

So far, it's not clear whether there's any connection to the Italian cheese scandal

The allegations emerged Friday in Italy, but it is not yet known if that case has any link to a visit by police Friday to the German cheese company's premises at Woringen on the northern slopes of the Alps.

Police in Kempten said documents were seized and cheese samples examined, but it would not be known until next week if any wrongdoing had been found.

"Current allegations against the firm in the media can be neither confirmed nor denied," a police statement said.

Stale cheese scandal?

A group of corrupt cheese merchants in Italy had been processing condemned cheese so that it appeared and tasted new, according to this week's Italian news reports. But Rome says this is stale news, according to Berlin produce-safety officials on Saturday.

A consumer-affairs ministry spokesman said Germany's senior veterinarian had telephoned his Italian counterpart and was told it had all happened two years ago.

"We asked them to send us a report on it all the same," said a spokeswoman.

She said the inquiry in Woringen was an important precaution, but Germany must now wait for the findings.

Germany disclosed this week that it was the world's biggest cheese exporter last year.

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