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FDA: Parmesan cheese could be made from wood

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Posted at 1:43 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 19:06:10-05

A new report from Bloomberg Business found that the grated parmesan cheese in your refrigerator could be made from wood.

According to Bloomberg, the FDA visited a cheese factory in Pennsylvania in 2012, and found that Castle Cheese Inc.'s 100 percent real parmesan wasn't so real after all.

Bloomberg said the company was "doctoring its 100 percent real parmesan with cut-rate substitutes and such fillers as wood pulp and distributing it to some of the country's biggest grocery chains."

In the report, Bloomberg said other parmesan suppliers were mislabeling products by filling them with too much cellulose, or using cheaper cheddar cheese instead of real Romano.

The president of Castle Cheese, Michelle Myrter, is scheduled to plead guilty to criminal charges this month and could face up to a year in prison and $100,000 in fines, according to Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg, cellulose is a safe additive, and has an acceptable level of 2 percent to 4 percent.

They tested four different brands and found Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese had 8.8 percent cellulose, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese had 7.8 percent, Whole Foods 365 brand didn't label cellulose but still had a .3 percent and Kraft had 3.8 percent.

Read more about the investigation here