France -French firm allowed to restart cheese sales from site linked to E. coli outbreak

Food Safety News

French officials have allowed a dairy company to resume operations at a site linked to a deadly E. coli outbreak earlier this year.

The dairy, Chabert, was permitted to restart the marketing of raw milk reblochon cheese from its site in Cruseilles, a town in the Haute-Savoie department of the country, last week.

Fifteen children aged 1 to 5 years old from across France were infected with E. coli O26 between February and May. Laboratory tests confirmed 12 were affected by one strain of E. coli O26. Eleven of the infected children developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). One child died.

HUS is not common in France with between 100 and 160 cases being reported each year. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to HUS, a life-threatening disease characterized by acute renal failure and low blood platelets.

Of the other three children, two were infected with an E. coli O26 strain different from that of the other 12 and for one child no strain could be isolated.

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