A cheesemaker in Victoria has been fined $9000 for creating an overpowering stinky smell. As my favourite riddle goes, how stinky must a cheese stink be to be considered offensively stinky?
Apparently quite a bit, because Yarra Valley Dairy in Yering, Victoria was fined just over $9000 by the state’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for its nasty smell. Oof, I wonder if it was a nice ripe blue?
According to the EPA, the “strong odour” from the cheesemaker was affecting the surrounding properties. That’s the politest euphemism for “cheese stink” I’ve ever heard.
I can only imagine a pungent breeze ebbing and flowing through the crisp air of the Yarra Valley, reminiscent of the K-Mart running shoes your dad bought six years ago but refuses to bin because there’s “still some life left in them”.
According to EPA regional manager Jeremy Settle, the cheesemaker was given months to comply. The EPA initially issued a notice in May 2021, which was challenged in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The EPA then issued an amended notice in October.
“But when EPA officers arrived in December to check on compliance, the odour on St Huberts Rd was strong enough to cause discomfort when facing into the wind,” Settle said.
“The company had complied with some of EPA’s requirements, but not all, and the odour was still there.”
Let’s be honest, no one wants to feel discomfort while facing the wind. Especially if that wind is bringing the overpowering smell of off dairy. I don’t know if nostril-induced lactose intolerance is a thing but by God, I’m not game enough to find out.
The scent was described as a “sour milk odour with earthy characteristics”, which honestly sounds like the description of a $400 fragrance one of the TikTok perfume girlies would convince me to buy.
Is stinky cheese smell a community health issue or actually just the hot new scent for winter? Much to think about.
Regardless, Yarra Valley Dairy was found to have contravened a section of the Environment Protection Act 1970.
If you’re planning on heading to the Yarra Valley anytime soon maybe pack an extra bottle of Glen 20.