E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Update: 30 Confirmed cases of E.coli O145 (STEC) in possible cheese outbreak according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

28th December 2023

Amy Douglas, Incident Director for Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety Division at UKHSA, said: "There have been at least 30 confirmed cases of this specific outbreak strain of STEC in the UK." - Link below.

The Food Standard Agency (FSA) mentioned the recall on their website for Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese Ltd as a precaution on the 24&25/12/2023. See the link below for the latest products and further information.

The FSA advise the young, pregnant women, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system about the potential dangers of products such as cheeses made from unpasteurised (raw) milk.

If cheeses are made from pasteurised milk, the temperature in this method is normally sufficient to kill bacterium where it exists. Pasteurisation failure has occurred in previous outbreaks of STEC but is rare.

Irrespective of the source of this outbreak the idea of food not being placed on the market if unsafe, is a good one and should be adhered to. However, this I believe is not always the case hence recalls are constant in the way we treat food safety. Prevention is better than cure.

It is good to see the FSA & UKHSA apparently giving information early about this outbreak, as this can help to reduce the amount of illness and cases. Sadly, this I believe has not always been the case in all the previous outbreaks of STEC.

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