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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Child dies in Scotland after E.coli outbreak linked to blue cheese

The strain also made 20 people ill.

Image: Shutterstock/AS Food studio

A CHILD HAS died in Scotland from a strain of E.coli that also caused 11 people to be hospitalised.

Twenty people in total have been affected by the E.coli strain, which has been linked to a brand of blue cheese.

The country’s multi-agency Incident Management Team (IMT), chaired by Health Protection Scotland, has been investigating an outbreak of the same strain of E. coli O157.

In a statement today it said:

There have been a total of 20 confirmed cases of this strain identified. 11 of the cases are known to have received hospital care at some point during their illness and sadly, one child has died.

Chair of the IMT Dr Alison Smith-Palmer 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.

She said that 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.

Food Standards Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council are working with the food business operator.

The IMT said that ”epidemiological investigations identified Dunsyre Blue cheese as the most likely cause of the outbreak”.

In a statement on its website in August, Errington Cheese, manufacturer of Dunsyre Blue, said:

All our testing, covering a period of almost 6 months from 21 March to date, is completely clear of E.coli 0157. All authority testing is negative for E.coli 0157. All customer testing for Ecoli 0157 is negative. All farm testing for E.coli 0157 is negative. At least six samples have been taken from the implicated batch D14; they all tested negative for E.coli 0157.

It said that at that point it had not been shown the outbreak report, or the food histories of those affected, or any other supporting documentation.

We don’t know why IMT (Incident Management Team) concluded that cheese batches C22 and D14 were responsible for illness as the wholesalers who supplied all the restaurants did not keep a record of which batches went to which customer; any of 10 batches might have been supplied to these restaurants. We know from both our and the authorities’ tests that D14 was negative for E.coli.

Read: Divers find 340-year-old brie off the coast of Sweden that ‘smells of life’>

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