The recent E.coli outbreak linked to Dunsyre Blue cheese has resulted in the death of a child in Scotland and 11 people being hospitalised after becoming infected by the bacteria. To date there has been a total of 20 confirmed cases of E.coli 0157 infections since the initial voluntary recall on the suspect cheese on 29 July 2016.
Errington Cheese Ltd issued a "precautionary recall" of its Dunsyre Blue cheese which is made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. The recall has been issued over fears the cheese may contain shiga toxin-producing E Coli - a harmful type of bacteria which can cause death.
The Scottish artisan Dunsyre Blue cheese product is mainly supplied to hotels, restaurants, specialist cheese shops and delicatessens.
As a result of recent events, Food Standards Scotland have warned consumers not to eat cheeses from the implicated batches or cheeses with no batch details.
The affected dates are batches of E24 Dunsyre Blue with best before dates between 18/09/2016 to 18/10/2016.
And batches of E24 Dunsyre Baby with best before dates between 21/09/2016 to 11/10/2016.
The outbreak is being investigated by the multi agency Incident Management Team (IMT) chaired by Health Protection Scotland that includes EHOs from South Lanarkshire Council where the suspect food business operator is based.
As a result of recent E.coli outbreaks involving both cheese and salad leaves, with investigations still ongoing, CSC recommends the following advice on how to minimise exposure to E.coli:
- Personal hygiene – practice good hand washing procedures, especially after visiting the toilet, after touching animals, handling raw meats etc.
- Ensure that the wash hand basin is equipped with antibacterial hand soap, a supply of both hot and cold running water and a means to dry hands.
- Thorough cleaning of fruit and vegetables is critical to ensure that any loose soil and germs are removed. All vegetables, including salad leaves, intended to be eaten raw should be thoroughly washed. The use of chlorine wash can also be used
- A good segregation system needs to be put in place to ensure that raw and cooked/ready to eat food items are stored separately.
- Ensure that processing and cooking equipment are cleaned and sanitised to the strictest hygiene standards.
- Ensure that food items, especially meat, are thoroughly cooked.
If you require any additional support regarding the prevention of E.coli O157, please do not hesitate to contact us