Cheesemaker avoids charges over e-coli death of child

Dunsyre Blue cheese
Dunsyre Blue cheese
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No criminal charges are to be brought against a cheese maker following the death of a young girl during an E.coli outbreak.

Prosecutors said there would be no criminal proceedings raised over the death of the three-year-old in September last year, based on the evidence available.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) could still be held.

A total of 26 cases of the same strain of E.coli O157 were identified in the outbreak, which occurred between July and mid-September 2016. Seventeen people were hospitalised and the three-year-old girl died.

READ MORE: Blue cheese did cause e-coli outbreak, report says

A report published by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) in March said that consumption of Dunsyre Blue cheese was the likely source of the outbreak.

However, Lanarkshire-based manufacturer Errington Cheese has always strongly disputed that its unpasteurised Dunsyre Blue was the cause.

A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said on Wednesday: “On 2 September 2016 a three-year-old Dunbartonshire girl died as a complication of an E.coli infection.

“After giving the case careful consideration, Crown Counsel have concluded, based on the available evidence, that there will be no criminal proceedings brought as a result of the death.

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“Should additional evidence come to light that decision may be reconsidered.

“The family have been informed of this decision.

“A decision on whether or not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry is currently under careful consideration.”

Company founder Humphrey Errington told The Times Scotland: “We have never accepted that our cheese had anything to do with the illness that led to this tragic death.

“This decision from the procurator fiscal is a profound reassurance to us.”