Following reports of contamination of a type of Camembert cheese with the microorganism E.coli, products containing these items have been recalled from supply due to potential risk of food poisoning. The Food Standards Agency has issued a warning notice against consumption of this cheese.
A form of E.coli known as 026 that secretes a bacterial toxin named verocytotoxins has been believed to be responsible for the contamination. This bacterial strain is as virulent as 0157 version that can cause fatal food poisoning. Most commonly observed symptoms of food poisoning are bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. If untreated, it can even lead to renal failure, severe anaemia and neurological disorders.
The product has been manufactured by Laiterie Fromagerie du Val d'Ay-Etablissement Reaux, located in France and is being distributed to departmental stores in UK through Anthony Rowcliffe and Son Ltd. All retail suppliers of the products, in particular Waitrose have been contacted and notices have been put up to restrict sales of Reaux's Gaslonde Camembert, Camembert de Normandie Th.Reaux (250 g packs) and Reaux's Gaslonde Camembert (1 Kg pack).
In response to the above situation, the cheese manufacturer, Bertrand Gillot has issued a statement 'I have nothing to hide' and expressed his willingness to cooperate in the identification of the contamination source. Suspicion has fallen on large flocks of starlings nesting on a few of his 80 supplying farms that could have been the source of contamination.
The staff members have been sent home and the production of these products have been halted on a temporary basis. It is estimated that the company would face a financial loss approximating to £700,000 before the production can be resumed.