British imports of cheese have been banned in China after inspectors visited just ONE dairy in the UK.
That unnamed dairy does not even export cheese to China and one MP has compared it to the UK attacking the Chinese noodle industry.
George Eustice said: “British cheese is the best in the world and produced to the highest safety and quality standards so it is disappointing that China have put a temporary block on cheese imports.
“Food inspectors will now visit all factories exporting cheese to China to demonstrate their high standards so these restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible.”
The ban was imposed on May 1 following a visit to a cheese factory by Chinese inspectors in March, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Defra believed that it was a general visit, but instead they conducted an audit that raised concerns over temperatures of raw milk, chemical storage, equipment maintenance and air sanitation.
Despite the ban, which will remain in force until after the eight plants that export cheese to China are visited, the UK government insists that British cheese is safe. Every year the UK exports just over £93,000 of cheese to China.
Tory MP Andrew Percy, secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Cheese Group, described the move as an “over-reaction and disproportionate. He said: “We have some of the highest food production standards in the world as well as the world’s finest cheeses.”
A statement on the DairyCo website, which represents the views of dairy farmers, said: “UK cheese exports to China have been temporarily suspended following a recent inspection tour by Chinese officials.
“The inspections took place to ensure all UK suppliers of dairy products conformed to the new Chinese Food Safety law due to be implemented from 1 May 2014.
“Issues related to maintenance, air sanitisation, raw milk transport temperatures and chemical storage were cited as the reasons for the temporary ban.
“The ban will remain in place until all UK cheese plants exporting to China are audited by the Local Authorities. However, it does not apply to any products made before the new law comes into force.”
Source: The Mirror