Warning to not eat certain cheese after listeria outbreak sees person die

·3-min read
The public is being urged not the eat semi-soft Baronet cheeses after the listeria outbreak&nbsp;death. <i>(Image: Canva)</i>
The public is being urged not the eat semi-soft Baronet cheeses after the listeria outbreak death. (Image: Canva)

Government agencies have released a warning to avoid Baronet semi-soft cheeses after a listeria outbreak led to one person in the UK dying.

It comes as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued the warning on Friday, March 25 after “exceptionally high levels” of listeria were found in some of the cheeses.

Earlier this week, the FSA shared an alert sharing that The Old Cheese Room manufacturer in Wiltshire had extended its recall of Baronet, Baby Baronet and Mini Baronet Soft Cheeses because listeria monocytogenes has been found in some batches.

The recall included packs sizes 1kg, 270g and 200g, and best-before dates of March 21 and 22, and April 4, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 18.

The UKHSA has since identified three listeria cases potentially linked to an outbreak and said one person has died.

The type of cheese, Baronet is a pasteurised semi-soft cheese with a pinkish-orange rind and a pungent smell.

“Baronet cheese is sold in both small individual rounds and as 1kg wheels,” UKHSA guidance states.

“The cheeses are sometimes served sliced from a deli counter, so it may not always be clear whether you have purchased an affected product.

“If in doubt, consumers are advised to contact the retailer they bought their cheese from to find out if the Baronet cheese they have purchased is from the batches affected and in the meantime to not eat the product.”

Speaking of the outbreak, Tina Potter, head of incidents at FSA, said: “Due to the outbreak of listeria monocytgenes linked to Baronet semi-soft cheese, we are urging consumers who are vulnerable to listeria infection – including people who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems – to ensure they follow the advice in the product recall notices, which details all of the products which may pose a risk.

The Northern Echo:
The Northern Echo:

“We are also asking people to make sure that elderly relatives who may have purchased the recalled items, and who are at particular risk, are aware of the recall and observe the advice.”

The Old Cheese Room said: “We are working closely with our local environmental health officer and the Food Standards Agency, and will continue to do so.

“As a responsible cheesemaker, we carry out regular cleaning, disinfecting and swab testing of our making and ripening rooms.

“Since the test that showed a trace of listeria monocytogenes in Baronet, we have changed our monthly testing regime to positive release, this means that we test every batch of cheese before it leaves us.

“None of our other cheeses have been affected by this.”

What are the symptoms of listeria?

The Symptoms caused by listeriosis can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

In rare cases, the infection can be more severe, causing serious complications, such as meningitis.