UPDATE (September 10, 2017 at 7.18pm CST): We've compiled all the latest updates on the cheese ban. Click here for updates.
The rumors are true: certain types of cheese products have been banned from China, multiple sources have confirmed.
Chinese authorities recently sent an announcement to suppliers stating that certain mold-ripened and soft cheeses are being temporarily blocked from being imported into China, several sources tell That's. The regulations appear to have been in place since the end of August this year.
The types of cheese affected by the temporary ban are said to include Camembert, Brie, Roquefort, blue cheese and goat cheese, according to a letter obtained by That's from a restaurant owner. The letter appears to have been sent from Sinodis, one of China's leading distributors of imported food, to multiple F&B establishments around Shanghai:
One source says that a similar ban was implemented last year on imports of cheeses like Gorgonzola. That now appears to have been extended to include more types of cheese.
Speaking with That's, a spokesperson for FIELDS China, an online grocery shopping service, confirmed the restriction:
"We can confirm that our suppliers have confirmed that they will temporarily stop importing soft cheese such as camembert, brie and blue cheese to China. While this is disappointing, we will of course follow all Chinese legal decisions."
According to a widely-circulating WeChat post from China-based cheese seller Cheese Republic, the reason for the ban is that the listed types of cheese contain too much bacteria.
We've reached out to Sinodis for further comment. We'll post more updates on this developing story as we receive them.