By Anna Gault
A CHEESE firm has been forced to close over a failure to comply with European Union rules on using raw milk.
Independent company SS dei Naufragati, the only producer of fresh mozzarella in Scotland, had its licence to make cheese withdrawn by environmental health officers.
The company had “insufficient” paperwork for producing the unpasteurised product.
And the firm was forced to thrown away 800 litres of milk after the ban was enforced by officials from the City of Edinburgh Council on Friday (June 3).
But customers at Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market, where Naufragati sold its remaining produce, rushed to sign a petition at the weekend asking the council to allow the company to stay in business.
Owner Adriana Alonzi said: “On Friday, the environmental health officers came to our unit as we were due our six-month review and after this review they were to grant us our permanent approval.
“However, they chose to deny us approval on the grounds that our paperwork was insufficient. Therefore, they basically closed us down. They made us throw away our working production, 800 litres of milk, down the drain.
“We are very upset and angered by this, simply because there didn’t seem to be an issue with our cheese production, because we were able to sell everything in our fridge, which we sold out.”
Naufragati uses raw organic milk supplied from a Scottish milk farmers’ working co- operative and supplies I J Mellis cheesemongers, Massimo Restaurants, Peter’s Yard Cafe and delicatessens.
A spokeswoman for the council, said: “Following a visit, officers reluctantly informed management that their additional, European Union, approval was being suspended. This was due to conditions found and their inability to demonstrate that they were implementing and maintaining an adequate food safety management system.”