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Blue mozzarella bacteria not harmful to humans, said Germany

The bacteria strain responsible for turning thousands mozzarella cheese blue blue earlier this summer does not pose a human health hazard, said German authorities.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) said the risk from the family of Pseudomonad bacteria that spoiled up to 70,000 mozzarella cheese balls was low - although it did render the food unfit for consumption.

The assessment followed a series of complaints from consumers in Italy in June that mozzarella cheese imported from Germany developed a blue tint after opening. Italian authorities said the discolouration was caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas (P.) tolaasii and P. libanensis, of which high microbial counts were detected in the cheese. The country’s Ministry of Health believed that the presence of the bacteria resulted from contaminated water which was used as brine for the cheese.
 
 

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