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13 Arrested in Counterfeit Cheese Scam


Hands stretch fresh mozzarella in a tank of warm water

Italian authorities shut down an Italian cheese factory in the Campania region last week after an investigation revealed its buffalo mozzarella was being cut with cow’s milk, creating a counterfeit cheese that does not meet Italian DOP standards. Thirteen people were arrested, including two state-hired veterinarians, and seven local shops were also closed in the scandal. Besides the misbranding, the mozzarella had twenty times the bacteria legally allowed in cheese.

Buffalo mozzarella made in Italy is certified by the European Union with a Denominazione d’Origine Protetta, or DOP seal. The cheese is most commonly used to make Caprese salad (tomato, cheese and basil) in Italy.

Read More at the LA Times

Photo by Franco Castano / Associated Press

Nick D'Errico

Nick D'Errico was raised in an Italian family where he developed an appreciation for good food, a fear of flying bedroom slippers, and a love of cheese. He works as an editorial intern at Culture and currently studies writing and publishing (he wanted to be an engineer, but can't do math). In his spare time, he dons 40 lbs of padding and stands in front of rubber projectiles as a hockey goalie.

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