DairyCo is reporting that UK cheese exports to China have been temporarily suspended, following a recent inspection tour by Chinese officials. The inspections took place to ensure all UK suppliers of dairy products conformed to the new Chinese Food Safety law due to be implemented from May 1, 2014.

Issues related to maintenance, air sanitisation, raw milk transport temperatures and chemical storage were cited as the reasons for the temporary ban. The ban will remain in place until all UK cheese plants exporting to China are audited by the Local Authorities. However, it does not apply to any products made before the new law comes into force.

DairyCo senior analyst Patty Clayton told Agriland that a team of inspectors for China had been in the UK recently. “As far as I am aware they also visited a number of other EU Member States prior to the introduction of the new food safety laws in China.

“As I understand it, the Chinese authorities are happy at this stage to allow local authorities in the UK to carry out the specific follow up inspections that they have requested. And it is only cheese products that are affected by the temporary ban that kicks in tomorrow.”