Food poisoning outbreak link to unpasturised cheese

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A rise in the number of E.coli food poisoning outbreaks may be linked to eating Dunsyre Blue cheese - which is made from unpasturised milk.

Health Protection Scotland, Food Standards Scotland, the NHS boards and a number of local authority environmental health teams are continuing their investigations, but the most likely source is the cheese. The number of confirmed cases of the same strain of E. coli O157 has now risen to 18. As with the others, the two additional cases developed symptoms between 2 and 15 July.

The multi-agency group are continuing to review additional information as it becomes available and Errington Cheese has carried out a voluntary recall of suspected batches.

Members of the public who purchased Dunsyre Blue cheese between 18 May and 29 July, and still have the product in their fridges, are reminded to return it to the retailer where they purchased the product or dispose of it.

Symptoms associated with E. coli O157 can include stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), vomiting and occasionally fever. Anyone developing symptoms, including bloody diarrhoea, or who is concerned about their symptoms, should contact their GP or telephone NHS 24 on 111 for advice.

A total of 18 cases have been reported: 14 in Scotland across seven NHS Boards and four in England. One patient is being treated in hospital.