E. coli found in French cheeses sold in NL

Various French cheeses sold in the Netherlands have been found to contain traces of a strain of the E coli bacterium that can cause severe food poisoning. The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has today issued a security warning advising consumers not to consume cheese from French dairy Étoile du Vercors. 

Consumers have been told not to buy cheeses under the labels Saint Felicien, Saint Marcelin, Sechon de Vache, and Tommes du Dauphine with an expiration date before September 3, 2014. Raw cheeses made by Étoile du Vercors are sold widely across the Netherlands to wholesalers, restaurants and supermarkets.

The NVWA does not yet have a full picture of the retailers that sell the Étoile du Vercors cheeses.

The bacterium Escherichia coli O26 H11 is known to cause gastrointestinal infections, accompanied by bloody diarrhea, fever, and in severe cases, kidney failure in young children.

This outbreak comes shortly after salami from the Italian company Fiorucci was pulled off the Albert Heijn shelves because they may have been contaminated with E coli. In a similar incident, the NVWA turned away a shipment of E coli contaminated beef from Brazil in 2013 which it described as “potentially pathogenic."

The NVWA has said that consumers should get rid of the cheeses if they have not eaten them already.

No cases of infection have been reported in the Netherlands.