Scottish blue cheese at heart of E.coli outbreak claims is withdrawn from sale again over listeria fears

The artisan blue cheese withdrawn from sale last year after an E.coli outbreak which killed a three year old girl and hospitalised around 19 other people, has been pulled from sale again over fears of listeria.
Dunsyre Blue has been recalled over listeria fearsDunsyre Blue has been recalled over listeria fears
Dunsyre Blue has been recalled over listeria fears

Food Standards Scotland said the Lanarkshire based manufacturer, Errington Cheeses, had voluntarily recalled a batch of Dunsyre Blue cheese because it had been notified by a wholesaler that Listeria monocytogenes has been detected in the product.

Dunsyre Blue was among a range of raw milk cheeses made by Errington which were stopped from being produced amid an investigation following the outbreak of the food poisoning bug in the summer of 2016.

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The FSS notice said that symptoms caused by listeria can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea. However, in rare cases, the infection can be more severe, causing serious complications, such as meningitis.

Owner Humphrey Errington, who launched the firm in 1985, has insisted that his cheese is not the source of the food poisoning outbreak and has claimed that the authorities, including Food Standards Scotland, are trying to curb production of raw milk cheese.In March, an official report from Health Protection Scotland into the E.coli outbreak claimed that Errington's Dunsyre Blue was the source of the bacteria.

A notice from the company said: "Errington Cheese Ltd is recalling Dunsyre Blue cheese because Listeria monocytogenes has been found in the product."

Food Standards Scotland added: "Errington Cheese Ltd is recalling the above product. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling this product. These notices explain to customers why the product is being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product."

Mr Errington was reported in October as saying that the firm had started to make Dunsyre Blue cow’s cheese again but using pasteurised milk, which usually carries a lower risk of infection.However, a description of the cheese on his firm’s website states: “Dunsyre Blue is made from unpasteurised milk and matured in our old stone farm buildings for two to four months.”

No other Errington Cheese Ltd products are known to be affected.

Prosecutors earlier this year decided not to bring criminal charges against Errington, but the cheesemaker has vowed to continue to fight the decision in court in a bid to receive compensation for £400,000 of cheese which was seized by investigators and for a further £400,000 of legal costs the family-run business has run up.

Mr Errington was not available for comment. The company was in October named one of Britain’s top cheese producers in an industry awards ceremony.