Brits are being warned not to eat batches of semi-soft cheeses after a person died from eating cheese containing 'exceptionally high levels' of listeria.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have issued warnings after identifying three cases potentially linked to a listeria outbreak - including one in which a person died.
There is no confirmation from the FSA suggesting that Baronet, made by Wiltshire-based firm The Old Cheese Room, is the source of the outbreak.
Consuming the bacteria can cause listeriosis, which causes flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, muscle ache, sickness and diarrhea and chills.
In some rare cases, symptoms can lead to complications, like meningitis.
Although death as a result of listeriosis is uncommon, elderly people, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are more at risk.
The FSA has recalled 200g Baby Baronet Soft Cheese with best-before dates of March 22 and April 4, 10 and 16.
And recalls have also been made for 270g Mini Baronet Soft Cheese with best before dates of March 22, April 10 and 18 and Baronet Soft Cheese with sell-by dates of March 21, April 11, 12 April and 18 April.
The Old Cheese Room has said they were 'working closely' with their local Environmental Health Officer and the FSA and will 'continue to do so'.
They said in a statement: "As a responsible cheesemaker we carry out regular cleaning, disinfecting and swab testing of our making and ripening rooms.
"Since the test that showed a trace of listeria monocytogenes in a single batch of Baronet, we have changed our monthly testing regime to positive release - this means that we test every batch of cheese before it leaves us.
"None of our other cheeses have been affected by this."
FSA head of incidents, Tina Potter, said: “Due to this outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, we are urging consumers who are vulnerable to listeria infection – including people who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems to ensure they follow the advice in the product recall notices, which details all of the products which may pose a risk.
“We are also asking people to make sure that elderly relatives who may have purchased the recalled items, and who are at particular risk, are aware of the recall and observe the advice.
“Some foods carry a greater risk of listeria than others. These include soft cheeses, pate, smoked fish, chilled sliced meats and other chilled ready-to-eat products.”
Richard Elson, head of incidents and response at UKHSA, added: “Listeriosis is a rare infection and most people will only experience mild symptoms such as abdominal pain or diarrhea, which usually pass within a few days without the need for treatment.
“But 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.”
LADbible has reached out to The Old Cheese Room for additional comment.
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Topics: Health, News, UK News, Food And Drink