Oh Good – These Cheeses Have Been Recalled Due To An E. coli Outbreak In The UK

The Food Standards Agency issued a recall earlier this week.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that 30 confirmed cases of E.coli in the UK may be linked to contaminated cheese that was recalled on Christmas Day.

The UK Health Security Agency said at least 30 reported cases were of the “specific outbreak strain” thought to have been in the cheese.

The UK public have been warned not to eat these four cheeses:

  • Mrs Kirkham’s Mild & Creamy Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Mature Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UKHSA said the cheese was “recalled as a precaution” because it may have been “contaminated with a specific type of E.coli bacteria called Shiga toxin producing E.coli, also known as STEC or VTEC, a pathogen that can cause food poisoning”.

What to do if you have bought the cheeses

The FSA have warned that symptoms caused by STEC organisms can cause severe diarrhoea, stomach pain and sometimes haemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal.

The agency warned that if the cheeses are in your home, you should refrain from eating them, thoroughly clean any surfaces, utensils and equipment that may have touched the cheese and make sure that fridges are kept at 5°C or below to “limit the growth of any harmful bacteria”.

The recall also warns that these cheeses are sometimes served as part of a hamper, as individual portions or purchased as a gift set, so it may not be clear whether you’ve purchased an affected product.

The agencies urge that anybody in doubt should contact the retailer they bought their cheese from to find out if the batches are affected and in the meantime, don’t eat the cheeses.

Tina Potter, Head of Incidents at the Food Standards Agency said:

“We are aware that this recalled product may be popular over the festive period, especially as it has been sold as part of a Christmas gift hamper and so we are urging consumers to check whether they have bought or been gifted this product.

“Due to this outbreak of E. coli O145 we are urging all consumers to ensure they follow the advice in the product recall notices, which details all of the products which may pose a risk.”

What to do if you think you’ve contacted E. coli

Amy Douglas, Incident Director for Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety Division at UKHSA, urges the public to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of E.coli and if you are experiencing them, in particular diarrhoea and vomiting, you should take steps to ensure you don’t pass it on to loved ones.

This includes washing hands with soap and warm water and using bleach-based products to clean surfaces as well as not preparing food for others until 48 hours after symptoms stop.