All batches of Dunsyre Blue cheese recalled by South Lanarkshire firm

23 December 2017, 10:10 | Updated: 23 December 2017, 10:11

Dunsyre blue meningitis

A cheesemaker named as the 'most likely' source of a fatal E.coli outbreak last year has recalled all batches of its Dunsyre Blue amid listeria fears.

Errington Cheese is recalling the products after tests detected Listeria monocytogenes, which in rare cases can cause serious complications such as meningitis.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) advised anyone who has bought any of the cheese not to eat it and instead return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

Symptoms caused by Listeria monocytogenes can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65, pregnant women and their unborn babies, infants younger than one month old and people with weakened immune systems.

Errington Cheese Ltd is voluntarily recalling all affected products from its customers.

The firm said: "Routine customer testing has identified Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of pasteurised Dunsyre Blue.

"We have therefore taken the decision to recall all batches whilst we carry out a full investigation following several presumptive results of our own."

In another statement on its website the Lanarkshire-based manufacturer said: "I am terribly sorry but I have made the decision to recall all the Dunsyre Blue, following a routine customer test for a positive Listeria monocytogenes.

"We carried out a huge number of samples which we submitted to our laboratory and some of these have come back with a presumptive positive so I felt it would be safer to do a full recall as a precautionary measure whilst we carry out a full investigation.

"The Dunsyre Blue was made with pasteurised milk, with new equipment and we have followed all the advice given to us so it is really upsetting that this has happened and I am terribly sorry to do this especially at this time of the year."

Earlier this year a Health Protection Scotland (HPS) investigation found that the consumption of Dunsyre Blue cheese was the 'most likely' source of a fatal E.coli outbreak last year.

A total of 26 cases of the same strain of E.coli O157 were identified in the outbreak, which occurred between July and mid-September 2016.

Seventeen people were hospitalised and a three-year-old girl died, although the Crown Office said the death wasn't linked to the outbreak.

Errington Cheese has always disputed its unpasteurised Dunsyre Blue was the cause of the outbreak.

It said its concerns about the investigation into its produce and the outbreak remain, as it called for a more thorough probe.