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E. coli warning over Roquefort

Customers asked to return certain brands and batches of other blue cheeses

16 July 2012

CUSTOMERS have been warned not to eat some supermarket batches of Roquefort after E. coli was found in tests.

The bacteria can cause gastroenteritis (stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea), in some cases with bleeding, sometimes accompanied with fever and with the possibility of severe kidney problems in young children. Symptoms appear in the week after eating contaminated food.

People with such symptoms after having eaten the cheese should visit their doctor as soon as possible.

The warning does not relate to all Roquefort portions, but to a specific brand and to ones with certain technical specifications (see below).

The makers, Gabriel Coulet SA, have withdrawn from sale the batches concerned of their Roquefort AOP, which is sold under the labels: Cosse Noir, la Petite Cave, GAR, Patrimoine Gourmand, Auchan, Notre Sélection, Pâturages, Rocabret, Monoprix Gourmet, Cora, Maison des Gourmets and Le Fromager.

The cheeses have been on sale in the following stores: Atac, Auchan, Brake, Carrefour, Cora, Intermarché, Leclerc, Match, Metro, Monoprix and Système U.

The company said in a statement: “These products were subject to tests at the production stage and were all found to meet correct standards, and so they went on sale as usual. Keen to take reponsibility and not making any concessions as concerns its customers’ safety, we are taking the initiative to make a direct address to anyone who might have these products to ask them not to eat them and to take them back to the shop where they were bought.”

A helpline is available on: 05 65 59 99 01 (9.00-20.00).

The precise cheeses concerned are:
• Individual portions, with lot numbers: 120406152 / 120406156 /120406157 / 120406159 / 120406160 / 120406164 / 120406165
• With recommended use-by dates from July 10 to October 9
• With a veterinary identification number: FR-12.203.036-CE
• Sold between June 1 and July 12.

The bacterium found in the samples was Escherichia coli O26 :H11

Photo: Nataraja

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