Subject: Re: The Cheese, The Cheese!
Hi Patricia and Ziners,

Patricia Edson wrote:

> The actual point
>on whether they are legal is the length of
>time they have been aged. Therefore, the
>greatest cheeses (brie, camembert, reblochon,
>etc.)are, strictly speaking, illegal. BUT I
>have also never had a problem with them.

I think it is not the ageing but the pasteurisation - though that varies from country to country.

For Canada

cheese is allowed except if packed in whey up to 20 kg max per person even if a country is affected by foot and mouth disease

For the US and

there is an issue with unpasteurised cheese from foot and mouth disease infected countries - forbidden to import and advice to travellers not consume for the sake of their own health.

>From the US APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) site - the organisation's aim is keeping the United States free from destructive animal and plant pests and diseases that currently affect other countries.

They advise to always declare everything so that an assessment can be made by inspectors. Travelers are often surprised when told that their one little piece of fruit or meat can cause serious damage. In fact, one prohibited item carelessly discarded has the potential to wreak havoc on American crops. For example, it's quite likely that a traveler carried in the wormy fruit that first brought the Mediterranean fruit flies to California. The fight to eradicate this pest still costs America taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

And, although there hasn't been a case of foot-and-mouth disease in the United States since 1929, the threat of this disease from countries outside the U.S. remains. A single link of sausage contaminated with the dreaded virus could devastate the U.S. livestock business. Economists agree that an outbreak today would cost farmers and consumers billions of dollars in lost production, higher food prices, and lost export markets.

APHIS don't mention cheese one way or the other (they have a list of approved products which for example includes truffles.

They suggest you contact the US consulate in the country of origin for up to date information.

For Australia a truly appalling web site to find anything on cheese but ... . all food must be declared . dairy products are a quarantine concern and can only be imported if they meet specific import conditions

However, a 1999 press release states Dairy products made from unpasteurised milk will now be allowed provided they come from countries/zones that are free from a number of diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis and FMD. (FMD = foot & mouth disease I assume).

France is currently free of foot and mouth disease acording to

End conclusion - if it were me and I wanted to bring back cheese

this is the sort of research I would do. I wouldn't ask my friends but I would go to the authorities. It is not as easy as it could be. I think I would rather eat the cheese in France :-)

Regards Anne Canberra, Australia