Police in Germany have raided a cheese factory suspected of involvement in selling out-of-date cheese linked to a case being investigated in Italy. Italian police in the northern city of Cremona allege 11,000 tonnes of rotting cheese from European dairies has been mixed with fresh products and resold.
Instead of destroying the product, some 40 Italian, British, German and Austrian companies are said to have reworked the cheese using four companies headed by a Sicilian businessman.
German police spokesman Christian Owsinski said: “The current state of the investigation is that we were informed by reading La Repubblica that this company is suspected of being involved in a cheese scandal, so that’s why we are having a look.”
The rotten cheese, containing mouse droppings and plastic wrappings, was mixed with fresh cheese and recycled as mozzarella and gorgonzola.
Police believe the operation has been going on for two years with a turnover of some 10 million euros. The probe has so far led to three arrests. German authorities took samples for analysis and expect the results sometime next week.