Crown Office investigates death of Dunbartonshire three-year-old

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The Crown Office has confirmed it is investigating the death of a three-year-old Dunbartonshire girl linked to an E-Coli outbreak in July.

On Saturday Food Standards Scotland (FSS) instructed local authorities to take immediate action to withdraw batch 14 of Lanark White ewe’s milk cheese produced by Lanarkshire company Errington Cheese Ltd.

In a statement FSS said: “Local Authorities are requested to identify food businesses who are likely or known to stock this product and to take steps to ensure it is withdrawn from sale and destroyed, if necessary using powers under the Food Safety Act 1990 and Regulation 27 of the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006.”

FSS says the cheese, mainly made available to delis, specialist cheese shops, hotels and restaurants, would have been bought between August 22 and September 10.

Anyone who has bought the cheese is being advised not to consume it, and to return it from where it was purchased.

A Crown Office spokesman said: ““The Procurator Fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl in Dunbartonshire on September 2.

“The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU), is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Twenty people are known to have fallen ill with a strain of E Coli O157 in July, of whom eleven needed hospital treatment,

In a statement issued on Saturday, a spokesperson for Errington Cheese said: “We take food Safety as our priority and when we were told of the presumptive Ecoli 0157 result we immediately consulted experts in dairy microbiology.

“The experts told us they were confused and concerned by the testing methodology adopted by the laboratory.

“We have given careful consideration to this and to the fact that the cheese has been on the market for three weeks now with absolutely no reported incidence of illness.

“We have arranged for the sample of the same cheese tested by the authorities to be tested and the results will be ready on Monday when we will review the situation and post an update.”