The Cheddar Cheese Company in Somerset has been forced to stop producing one of its leading brands of cheese because it has become too crumbly. Cheese experts say the cheese has become so crumbly since its introduction that it is now deemed unsafe to eat.
One pub in the Midlands that served crumbly cheddar in its sandwiches subsequently collapsed entirely, although in a stroke of good fortune for its new owners, the government is reported to be in talks with them to 'deal' with crooked school buildings in a similar fashion.
Production of the crumbly cheese started in Somerset during the 1950s and proved so popular with consumers that other cheese producers started to make it too. Due to its lighter weight, reduced cost and resistance to heat the cheese has been widely used on sandwiches, as a filler in jacket potatoes, as a covering for fish pie and in more recent years has become popular as a topping for pizza.
There are growing concerns that cheese shortages caused by the crumbliness could hit the ploughman’s lunch trade and have knock on effects for the pub and catering industry. Dairy product inspectors discovered problems with the life span of the cheese in the mid 1990s and recommendations were put in place to make the cheese less crumbly.
It's understood The National Union of Ploughmen are watching the situation with concern. General Secretary, David Furrow, said: 'They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but worryingly, there may not be any lunch for us if this crisis deepens. It's a proper pickle and no mistake.'
But successive management at the factory ignored the warnings and continued to produce the crumbly cheese.
Part of the production line has been forced to close down and relocate to a portacabin on the factory car park.
The crumbly cheese problem does not only affect production in Somerset but is widespread across the UK. A full list of cheese producers affected by the crumbliness can be found on the Defra website and FarmingUK have set up a helpline for anybody affected by the crumbliness of their cheese.
hat tips: sirlupus; Chipchase