China expats are up in arms after hearing that soft and blue cheeses from Europe have been banned.
Dozens of such cheeses have not been allowed to be imported to certain cities since July, but the ban was extended nation-wide this week.
The reason given by the Chinese customs authority is that certain types of bacteria in soft and blue cheese have not been officially approved for import.
Why the ban has come now, however, is not known.
The types of cheese affected include brie, camembert, goats cheese and blue cheese,
According to William Fingleton, the spokesman for the delegation of the European Union in China, the same cheeses are allowed if they have been made in China.
Chinese people tend to dislike the types of pungent cheeses on the banned list, meaning expats are likely to be those most put out by the news.
Only a few types of bacteria in dairy products are allowed in China according to the country’s health regulations.
There are exemptions for cultures traditionally used in food production, but these exemptions do not apply to imported goods.
Fingleton fears the ban could be extended to include other types of cheese.
The European Union is currently surveying member states before it lobbies China to change the regulations.
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Keywords: China cheese ban
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