FDA Holds Back Cheese Because of Cheese Mites

The FDA recently held a shipment of Mimolette, an aged French cheese that has been shipped to America for decades. The cheese has a round, wrinkled and tough exterior hiding a bright orange center. Fans compare it visually to cantaloupe. The FDA hold on the 1,100 pound shipment means it can no longer be sold in the U.S.

The news caused angry cheese hoarders to take to the streets in New York last weekend, protesting what they felt was an unnecessary restriction on their beloved fromage. The FDA disagreed -- cheese mites were to blame, and the affected wheels could cause potential allergies.

The same mites were responsible for another detention that's got Rich Rogers at Scardello totally cheesed off. He just sent out an email lamenting the plight of a 50-pound wheel of Salers, which is also from France. He preordered the wheel after at a tasting at a food show, but the cheese never showed up. His distributor, who had already paid for the wheel, told Rogers the FDA had detained that shipment, too.

While the FDA hasn't banned any of these cheeses, they're making it difficult as of late to get them into the country. I'm having a hard time picturing distributors who will be willing to repeatedly pay for such expensive imports, only to watch them spoil on the docks in New Jersey.

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