E. coli in French cheese sparks warning

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Roquefort cheese (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sarah&Boston). Roquefort cheese (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sarah&Boston)

A dangerous variant of Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been discovered in a raw milk cheese with the brand name Roquefort. This is according to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) based on information received from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

The cheese in question has the brand name Roquefort, barcode EE1632, identification FR 120203 022CE and the expiration date May 8th, 2015. The cheese was sold in  various supermarkets in 100 grams units.

Consumers who have already purchased the cheese are urgently advised to throw it away immediately. If in doubt, more information can be obtained from the store where the cheese was purchased.

The variant of E. coli discovered in the cheese is E. coli O26, which can cause serious food poisoning. Symptoms include gastrointestinal infections that may be accompanied by bloody diarrhea or fever. In very severe cases renal dysfunction may occur in young children. The symptoms may appear within a week of consumption. People who have eaten the cheese and exhibit similar symptoms should immediately consult their doctor.

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