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Baronet cheeses recalled after one death from Listeria
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

28 March 2023

Baronet cheeses recalled after one death from Listeria

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have warned people not to eat Baronet semi-soft cheese, which has been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has resulted in one death. A recall of Baronet products was first announced by the FSA early last week. The agency says that the cheeses are contaminated with Listeria – some of them "at exceptionally high levels". Baronet, a pasteurised semi-soft cheese, is sold in small individual rounds and 1kg wheels that may be served at deli counters. The FSA and UKHSA have not confirmed that The Old Cheese Room in Wiltshire, UK – where the cheeses are manufactured – was the source of the outbreak. Through whole-genome sequencing surveillance of listeriosis samples, UKHSA has identified three cases potentially linked to the outbreak, with one death.

According to the FSA and UKHSA: "The outbreak strain has also been found in some food products and samples taken from food environments, however, there is no confirmation that Baronet is the cause of this outbreak".

The FSA's head of incidents, Tina Potter, said: “Due to this outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, 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". She continued: “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". “Some foods carry a greater risk of Listeria than others. These include soft cheeses, pâté, smoked fish, chilled sliced meats and other chilled ready-to-eat products.” Richard Elson, head of incidents and response at UKHSA, added: “Listeriosis is a rare infection and most people will only experience mild symptoms such as abdominal pain or diarrhoea, which usually pass within a few days without the need for treatment. But people with weakened immune systems, who are pregnant, or are infants or elderly are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms." Several batches of The Old Cheese Room's Baronet, Baby Baronet and Mini Baronet soft cheeses have been recalled. The list can be found on the FSA's website.

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