Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is investigating 16 confirmed cases of the same strain of E. coli O157, which may be associated with eating blue cheese made from unpasteurised milk.
Initial investigations indicate that a number of these cases have consumed Dunsyre Blue, manufactured by Errington Cheese, at various locations across Scotland prior to becoming unwell. 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. Errington Cheese is carrying out a voluntary recall of suspected batches.
Dr Syed Ahmed, Clinical Director at HPS, said: “The majority of cases have consumed Dunsyre Blue while eating out, but members of the public who purchased Dunsyre Blue cheese between 18 May and 29 July, and still have the product in their fridges, should return it to the retailer where they purchased the product or dispose of it.
“Symptoms associated with E. coli O157 can include stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), vomiting and occasionally fever. Anyone developing symptoms, including bloody diarrhoea, or who is concerned about their symptoms, should contact their GP or telephone NHS 24 on 111 for advice.
“It is important to maintain good hand and food hygiene practices at all times as this reduces the risk of passing the infection to others.”
HPS will continue to work with FSS and other partners to monitor the situation.