The State of Alaska has thrown away more than 20 tons of rotten, mice-infested cheese from the now-defunct Matanuska Creamery, which state officials took over -- along with its stocks of white and dark cheddar -- when the firm defaulted on a loan.
Amanda Swanson with the state Division of Agriculture says mice had burrowed into the cheese, and in some places were nesting inside. She says the cheese was so moldy that workers got sick while they were cleaning up the building where it was stored.
“You can see the ones here have all been chewed on,” Swanson said during a visit by Channel 2. “There’s still mouse poop on some of the boxes -- there’s actually a lot.”
Swanson and a co-worker spent part of the afternoon Tuesday throwing away more than 13,000 pounds of cheese, following a previous 30,000-pound disposal. While she worked, she pointed out some bags of cheese mice had broken into, as well as others that were seeping white liquid.
“It’s kind of like the slime mold, not the typical mold you would get on cheese,” Swanson said.
The state will auction the creamery's dairy equipment, trailers and pipes March 16.
Contact Rebecca Palsha