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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Dairy's curd banned from Europe
Curd cheese
Curd cheese was made from out-of-date milk and floor waste
A Lancashire dairy has been blacklisted from selling its curd cheese in Europe.

During an inspection of Bowland Dairy, officers from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office discovered a raft of food safety and hygiene issues.

An investigation of the Nelson-based premises in June revealed the dairy was using mouldy cheese and waste from the floor to make its curd products.

It also used out-of-date milk and raw milk containing antibiotic residues or contaminated with detergents and dyes.

A follow-up inspection in September found no improvement so food safety experts from all 25 EU countries have now backed a Commission recommendation to ban all curd cheese produced by the dairy from their markets.

Ongoing dispute

However, Bowland refute the Commission's allegations and will be challenging this decision before the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.

On 12 September, Bowland won a legal action in the European Court against the Commission, on the issue of testing of 'antibiotic' milk - milk which contains residues of antibiotics.

John Wright, director of Bowland Dairies, said: "Despite the European Court ordering the Commission to withdraw a Rapid Alert Notice stating that Bowland produce was unsafe, the Commission has now, without any factual or scientific evidence, pushed through today's decision.

"We have been the unfortunate victim of an ongoing dispute between the European Commission, UK authorities, and the Food Standards Agency, on the interpretation of EU food safety regulations.

"We have already won one major court case, and we will again challenge the commission.

"We will be calling on expert witnesses from industry, laboratories and the FSA, and fully expect to be vindicated."

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