The case of the blue mozzarella

By Daniel Collins 07/07/2010

Back in June, 70,000 balls of mozzarella were confiscated in Turin, Italy because they were blue. This was not an evolutionary step in cheese manufacturing – the offspring with an amorous roquefort – but a consequence of contaminated water.

Italians weren’t happy, with farmers demonstrating near the border with Austria, the blue cheese’s country of origin.

The cause of the blue hue was traced back to water apparently contaminated by
a natural, non-toxic bacteria called pseudomonas fluorescens
, known to occur is 14 European countries. The cheese maker, Milchwerk Jaeger, said it came from groundwater contaminated by a factory near its plant.

While pseudomonas fluorescens can be a health threat to elderly with respiratory ailments, in the countries where the bacterium is present, it appears that no-one has fallen ill from this this event. Blue mozzarella anyone? No takers? Not a surprise.