Threadbone Laboratories, sole manufacturers of Rataway™, the county's most popular rodent control product have recalled several batches of the inorganic trap-bait after discovering that a vital ingredient in the highly toxic formula was "not within normal manufacturing tolerances and might, therefore, be excessively and unnecessarily injurious to the health of certain rodent populations - especially those already adjusted to a comfortable domestic environment." The suspect ingredient is said to have been sourced from Fridge Farms and is almost certainly derived from their flagship Dorsetshire Blue Cheese product range.
A spokesperson for Fridge Farms - Mrs Helen Bowmeister (neé Helen Quivering-Sheath) - declined to confirm the rumours but admitted that some of their high bio-security plant normally involved in the manufacture of non-lactose dairy-style substitute faux comestibles was currently "not in full operation". It is widely reported locally that the plant has suffered a major rodent infestation which may have compromised feed lines.
Human consumers of Dorsetshire Blue have, in the meantime, been reassured that Fridge Farms' own pre-packed products derived from the same batches as the Rataway™ samples are not affected by the recall. "We have had anecdotal reports from the rodent people of fatalities on their watch, but nothing so far on the human front", said Fridge Farms front woman Rebecca Front-Woman. So should Dorsetshire Blue be withdrawn from the shelves even as a precaution? "Well that's just outrageously irresponsible", Ms Front-Woman said; "You have absolutely no basis for such an unwarranted assertion ... You should be very careful ... Don't you know that careless talk costs sales?"
Yesterday saw open protests on the streets of Chiswell as concerned Chemical Rights activists joined forces with members of the Royal Dorset Rodent Protection Society and an unidentified group calling themselves the "We'll Join Anything As Long As We Can Wear A Mask And Cause Trouble Brigade". A spokesperson for the last of these - Anne Arcky - said, "we were all at a loose end so we rang around to see if we should get together ... then we had a few beers and just dived in. I was great and I am sure if we'd known what it was all about we'd have been very supportive of the cause. Something about freeing the cheese? I might have misheard."
A toxic mixture: TOP and FAR RIGHT: Chemical Rights protesters joined forces with concerned members of the Royal Dorset Rodent Protection Society on the streets of Chiswell to make their feelings known. BOTTOM LEFT and CENTRE: Examples of the pipework at the Fridge Farms facility near Melcombe Regis. Threadbone Laboratory scientists argue that it is the blue deposit (far left) which gives Dorsetshire Blue its distinctive colour, taste and naturally long shelf-life.