A cheese producer based near Preston has released a new statement in connection with an E.Coli outbreak.Advertisement
Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese, based in Goosnargh, has recalled a raft of its cheeses following the outbreak of Shinga Toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC).
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says one person has died with 30 people unwell in total, aged from seven to 81-years-old.
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The Food Standards Agency have confirmed a link between the E.Coli outbreak and eating ‘unpasteurised cheeses’.
But Mrs Kirkham’s says there has been no confirmation it is their cheese – claiming all government lab tests have so far come back negative.
In a statement on Friday (29 December) the firm said: “We have been made aware of an outbreak of Shinga Toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC), and some of the cases affected have reported consuming eating our cheese as part of a meal. Firstly, we would like to give our sympathies and well wishes to anyone who has been affected by this outbreak.
“Consumer safety is our top priority and we will not take any risk when it comes to protecting the health of our customers. We are working closely with the relevant authorities, and whilst the situation is developing, we have taken the precautionary decision to recall and withdraw all of our cheese from the market.
“We are assured that our local authority have not identified any issues or concerns in our manufacturing process. Furthermore all the early tests carried out by government laboratories on our cheese have come back negative. We are waiting for further tests to be collected and the results will take a few days to become available. The FSA is also continuing its investigations of other products with a view to identifying the source of the outbreak.
“In the meantime, at this time, we urge consumers to check whether they have bought or been gifted these products and ensure they follow the advice on Food.gov.uk. We also ask for anyone who has been ill to work with the authorities to provide information about foods they may have consumed to aid the investigation.
“If you are a business we have supplied, please hold onto the product whilst we continue our investigation and we will update and advise further as soon as we can. In the meantime, we welcome everyone’s patience.”
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Mrs Kirkham’s Mild and Creamy Lancashire, all sizes, all use by dates of all batches purchased since 1 October 2023
Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire, all sizes, all use by dates of all batches purchased since 1 October 2023
Mrs Kirkham’s Mature Lancashire, all sizes, all use by dates of all batches purchased since 1 October 2023
Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire, all sizes, all use by dates of all batches purchased since 1 October 2023
No1 Waitrose and Partners, Farmhouse Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese, all sizes, use by dates of 30 Oct 2023, 2 Nov 2023, 7 Nov 2023, 10 November 23, 20 Nov 23, 28 Nov 2023, 4 Dec 2023, 11 Dec 2023, 13 Dec 2023, 23 Dec 2023, 2 Jan 2024, 9 Jan 2024 and 16 Jan 2024
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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.
“Symptoms of STEC include severe diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea), stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. If you have diarrhoea and vomiting, you can take steps to avoid passing it on to family and friends over the festive period.
“Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using bleach-based products to clean surfaces will help stop infections from spreading. Don’t prepare food for others if you have symptoms or for 48 hours after symptoms stop.
“Many of us will be travelling for Christmas, but if you are unwell you should avoid visiting people in hospitals and care homes to avoid passing on the infection in these settings. Do not return to work or school once term restarts, until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped.”
Tina Potter, Head of Incidents at the Food Standards Agency said: “We are aware that this recalled product may be popular over the festive period, especially as it has been sold as part of a Christmas gift hamper and so we are urging consumers to check whether they have bought or been gifted this product.
“Due to this outbreak of E. coli O145 we are urging all consumers 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 share this advice with friends and family who may have either purchased the recalled product or have received it as a gift.”
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