China bans cheese imports from Britain
The country was dissatisfied with standards at a UK dairy visited by food inspectors
By Scott Campbell
5:04PM BST 04 May 2014
China has banned imports of British cheese after the country’s food inspectors were dissatisfied with standards at a UK dairy.
Chinese officials, visiting plants in Europe ahead of the country’s new food safety law coming into force on May 1, reportedly complained about maintenance, raw milk transport temperatures, chemical storage and air sanitisation, insisting that all UK dairies exporting cheese to China must now pass council inspections before the restriction is lifted.
However, it has emerged that the unnamed dairy visited does not even supply cheese to the country, which also banned smoke-producing outdoor grills in Beijing at the beginning of May to improve the city’s air quality.
George Eustice, farming minister, said: “British cheese is the best in the world and produced to the highest safety and quality standards so it is disappointing that China have put a temporary block on cheese imports.”
“Food inspectors will now visit all factories exporting cheese to China to demonstrate their high standards so these restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible.”
Britain currently exports 11.5 tonnes of cheese to China each year.
In January, the country lifted a 14 year long ban on foreign games consoles, paving the way for tech giants such as Sony and Nintendo to formally enter a lucrative sector which had previously been dominated by the black market.
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