Soft Cheeses Implicated in STEC Infection


Authorities in France are investigating a recent outbreak of E. coli O26 infection attributed to consumption of soft cheeses from a number of regions in the Nation.  The current outbreak has resulted in over 20 cases of children developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, an extremely serious complication following infection.


Traceback is complicated by the fact that infected product was distributed carrying numerous brand names and lot numbers. There is evidence that contaminated product may have been exported from France to E.U. nations and Canada. Based on the frequency of isolation of Listeria and E. coli from soft cheese, presumably made from unpasteurized milk, authorities are now recommending that susceptible consumers including very young, elderly, pregnant and immunosuppressed consumers should avoid eating soft cheese now regarded as a vehicle of infection for this STEC strain.