Child dies from E. coli O157 in Scotland linked to blue cheese

Is there a way to mediate the values between protecting public health and protecting business?

dunshyre.blueMy suggestion would be the company stop asserting that testing found nothing – because that means shit – and Food Safety Scotland get the legal plug out of its ass and go public with whatever information they have.

So while the Scottish company at the centre of an E. coli O157 recall related to its raw milk Dunsyre blue cheese continues to say it’s innocent, and Food Standards Scotland isn’t talking, maybe this will help focus the participants on what matters.

A child has died following the outbreak of E. coli O157 in Scotland, one of 20 confirmed cases of infection – detected between 2 and 15 July – 11 of whom had received hospital treatment.

Health officials are investigating possible links to Dunsyre blue cheese, which is made with unpasteurised milk.

South Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese, which makes Dunsyre blue, said last month that testing had shown it to be “completely clear of E. coli O157”.

Health Protection Scotland said that epidemiological investigations had “identified Dunsyre Blue cheese as the most likely cause of the outbreak”.

It added: “Despite extensive investigation, including looking for other possible food sources, no other link to a majority of cases could be established.”

Testing don’t prove shit.

Dr Alison Smith-Palmer, from Health Protection Scotland’s Incident Management Team (IMT), said: “On behalf of the IMT, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the child who has died.

“Our thoughts are with them at this time and we ask that their privacy be respected.

“All confirmed cases became unwell prior to the end of July. As there have been no new cases since then the IMT will now stand down and work to produce its final report.”

It is understood that the final report could take up to six months to produce.

In a statement issued last month on its website, Errington Cheese said its own tests had shown the product to be clear of the bug.

“All our testing, covering a period of almost six months from 21 March to date, is completely clear of E. coli O157,” the statement said.

“All authority testing is negative for E. coli O157. All customer testing for E. coli O157 is negative. All farm testing for E. coli O157 is negative.”

The statement added: “From what we can gather all cases had an onset of symptoms between 1st -15th July (2 week period).

“However, our cheese was available over a 8/9 week period.

“From this we conclude that the outbreak was more likely to have been caused by something with a shorter shelf-life or not by a food at all.”

It wasn’t us: Cheese firm ‘blamed’ for E. coli outbreak slams ‘untrue’ claims

Jane Bradley of The Scotsman reports that Humphrey Errington, owner of Errington Cheeses, which manufactures Dunsyre Blue cheese, says it was “untrue” the cheese was the likely source of an E. coli O157 outbreak last month. said that all Dunsyre Blue had tested negative for E.coli and claimed that most of the people who had been diagnosed with the illness and not eaten any blue cheese. Health Protection Scotland said on Friday that the number of people with the infection had risen to 19.

“Health Protection Scotland’s claim that the 19 ill people had consumed Dunsyre Blue is untrue according to the data which they themselves have released; of the 19 ill people, seven may have eaten blue cheese (not necessarily Dunsyre Blue); some never ate any blue cheese.

“We can now say with absolute confidence that, following comprehensive tests and the examination of them by an independent expert microbiologist, there is no evidence whatever for any link to the recent outbreak of illness; the government agency tests have all also proved negative.

“We have to conclude that the HPS/FSS position is based on a malicious prejudice against raw milk cheese, and that this threatens not just our business but the reputation of the whole British artisan cheese industry, one of the great success stories of recent years.”

A spokeswoman for Health Protection Scotland said that Dunsyre Blue “remains the most likely source of this outbreak,” adding, “Based on the detailed information available to the multi-agency team, Dunsyre Blue cheese remains the most likely source of this outbreak, with confirmed cases becoming unwell between July 2 and 15. It would not be appropriate to respond in more detail at present as investigations have not yet concluded. However a formal outbreak report will be produced by the Incident Management Team after the investigation is declared over.”

Fancy food ain’t safe food: 19 sick with E. coli in UK from Dunsyre Blue cheese

Another case of E. coli has been confirmed in an outbreak believed to be linked to blue cheese made in Lanarkshire, 16 people were diagnosed with the strain of E. coli O157 with the number of those affected rising to 18 earlier this month.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) confirmed on Friday that another case has been diagnosed.

The cases developed symptoms between July 2 and 15.

HPS has been working with Foods Standards Scotland (FSS), NHS boards and local authority environmental health teams to investigate and manage this outbreak.

All patients, the majority of whom live in Scotland, are recovering at home, HPS said.

Officials are advising that – as a precaution – Dunsyre Blue cheese purchased between mid-May and the end of July with the batch codes C22 or D14 should not be eaten.