Italian health officials announced Tuesday that over 70,000 mozzarella balls turned blue because of bacterial contamination during production at the German plant owned by cheese producer Milchwerke Jaeger Gmbh.
Prosecutors from Turin announced that they were looking into what type of bacteria caused the cheese to turn blue and would have results within 48 hours.
One official from the Teramo food health services said the bacteria didn’t appear to be toxic. Investigators are still looking into how the cheese became contaminated.
“Surely it happened in the production phase,” said prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello via phone interview with a national wire service.
“Those who ate the mozzarella didn’t get any type of illness,” said Teramo food official Rolando Piccioni.
Consumers have reported that it takes time for the cheese to turn blue after the package is opened. In certain cases, the mozzarella turned blue after six to eight hours, while in others it took more than two days.
Thus far, more than a ton of mozzarella in Bologna, Sardinia, Sassari, and Isola della Maddalena produced by Milchwerke Jaeger Gmbh has been confiscated by officials. The Milchwerke Jaeger Gmbh cheese is distributed under five different brand names.
Italy’s health minister urged Italian cheese distributors to remove any cheese made by Milchwerke Jaeger from their shelves.