At South Africa’s eastern port of Durban, a shipment of 22 tons of cheddar cheese sent from Ireland — 6,700 miles away — is being destroyed because it was contaminated with E. coli.

South African milk producers immediately asked their government to put a temporary ban on Irish dairy products, but that has not happened yet.

The cheddar cheese shipment from Ireland was found to be “too risky for human consumption” after it docked at the South African port.  The cheese was shipped in 25-kilo blocks and was said to have enough bacteria to cause food poisoning in anyone consuming it.

South Africa did not provide the name of the Irish shipper.

In another example of how food safety is often used for trade advantages, South African milk producers accused Ireland of dumping inferior, under-priced cheese on its market. They say the alleged product “dumping” is crippling South Africa’s farmers.

As for the 22 tons of cheese, Durban port officials indicated it would be returned to the Irish shipper who would then have the responsibility of destroying the product.