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.
Photo by Franco Castano / Associated Press