Listeria death triggers recall of ‘contaminated’ UK cheese

Listeria death triggers recall of ‘contaminated’ UK cheese

Listeria death triggers recall of ‘contaminated’ UK cheese. Shutterstock

A listeria outbreak, in the UK, has so far left one person dead. A public health warning has been issued advising consumers not to eat Baronet semi-soft cheeses because of exceptionally high contamination levels, writes The Guardian.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), said the Old Cheese Room, a Wiltshire-based manufacturer, had recalled its batches of Baronet, Baby Baronet and Mini Baronet soft cheeses because listeria had been found in them. These include pack sizes of 1kg, 270g and 200g, with best-before dates of 21 and 22 March, and 4, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 18 April.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the FSA issued a statement which said three cases of listeriosis had been potentially linked to an outbreak, resulting in the death of one individual.

“The outbreak strain has also been found in some food products and samples taken from food environments, however there is no confirmation that Baronet is the cause of this outbreak”.

The agencies did note however that some of the cheeses were contaminated with “exceptionally high levels” of listeria.

“Baronet cheese is sold in both small individual rounds and as 1kg wheels. The cheeses are sometimes served sliced from a deli counter, so it may not always be clear whether you have purchased an affected product,” the agencies said.

“If in doubt, consumers are advised to contact the retailer they bought their cheese from to find out if the Baronet cheese they have purchased is from the batches affected and in the meantime to not eat the product.”

Symptoms of listeriosis can be similar to flu, in rare cases of severe infection there can be serious complications, such as meningitis.

Head of incidents and response at UKHSA, Richard Elson said, “People with weakened immune systems, who are pregnant, or are infants or elderly are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms.”

“If you are in a group who are at higher risk of severe symptoms, there is information on the NHS website about what foods to avoid and what to do if you think you have listeriosis.”

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.