Glasgow & West Scotland

New Dunsyre Blue cheese recall amid E. coli fears

Dunsyre Blue Cheese Image copyright FSS
Image caption Health officials have been investigating possible links to Dunsyre blue cheese

A further batch of Dunsyre Blue cheese is being recalled following an outbreak of E. coli which resulted in the death of a child.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese has instigated the "precautionary recall" of batch E24 of the product.

The decision was taken because it "may contain shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), a type of bacteria that is potentially harmful to health," FSS said.

The cheeses affected are Dunsyre Blue with the relevant batch number and best before dates between 18 September and 18 October this year.

Dunsyre Baby cheese, with best before dates between 21 September and 11 October 2016, is also subject to the recall, FSS said.

A multi-agency incident management team (IMT) chaired by Health Protection Scotland has been investigating an outbreak of the same strain of E. coli O157 in which 20 people were infected.

Health officials have been exploring possible links to Dunsyre Blue cheese.

The death of a child who was among the confirmed cases was announced on Monday.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The E. coli bug is found in animals' guts and can cause cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever

In a statement issued on Thursday, FSS said: "FSS believes that this precautionary recall is a responsible action by Errington Cheese Ltd that we believe to be in the best interests of consumers to protect them from potential risks to public health."

The food body said the product is mainly supplied to hotels, restaurants, specialist cheese shops and delicatessens.

"If you have purchased this product with the batch number above or if you have purchased it from a delicatessen and do not have batch information, do not eat it," the statement added.

"Instead, return it to either Errington Cheese Ltd or the store from where it was purchased."

The outbreak cases were identified in July and 11 of those infected were treated in hospital.

The company has previously carried out a voluntary recall of two batches of the blue cheese.

However, it has also maintained that there is no confirmed link between the E. coli outbreak and its products.

'Tests negative'

In a statement issued last month on its website, Errington Cheese said: "All our testing, covering a period of almost six months from March 21 to date, is completely clear of E. coli O157.

"All authority testing is negative for E.coli O157.

"All customer testing for E. coli O157 is negative. All farm testing for E. coli O157 is negative.

"At least six samples have been taken from the implicated batch D14; they all tested negative for E. coli O157."

The IMT has now stood down and a final report into the incident could take up to six months to be finalised.

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