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15 November 2016 08:16:05 |Agri Safety and Rural Crime,Dairy,News,Produce,Products,Supermarkets

Cheese firm drops legal action over E Coli investigation

Food Standards Scotland's wants to impose a blanket ban on all off Errington's products after finding strains of the bacteria

Food Standards Scotland's wants to impose a blanket ban on all off Errington's products after finding strains of the bacteria

A Scottish cheesemaker linked to a fatal E.coli outbreak has dropped a legal challenge against a ban on the sale of all of its products.
Humphrey Errington, founder of Errington Cheese, said that he was no longer seeking a judicial review of the Food Standards Scotland's (FSS) decision to impose a blanket ban on all his products after finding strains of the bacteria.
A child died after contracting the illness, which affected a total of 20 people in July this year. Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said Dunsyre Blue, made by Errington Cheese, was the "most likely cause".
Mr Errington said the firm had also been offered a meeting with FSS to resolve their differences. "We have accepted that," he said.
"It's a major 'back off' off from them," he added. "It's a big, big step but it's far from getting us back in the market. Our aim is get them to see that our cheese is not a risk to health."
Mr Errington always claimed there was "no evidence" linking its cheese to the outbreak and it accused the FSS of opposing the production of unpasteurised milk cheese.

'Significant risk to public health'
After the legal challenge to the order was dropped, the watchdog confirmed it had issued a revised order in relation to Errington Cheese products. It stressed that the full product withdrawal remains in place as the cheeses are "regarded as a risk to health".
A statement from the company said: "Errington Cheese Limited embarked upon a judicial review against Food Standards Scotland for two main reasons.
"Firstly, because we were clear that it was unlawful for FSS to have ordered the destruction of our cheeses on September 14 and secondly because we believed it was incumbent as a matter of fairness for FSS to share the evidence which they have been relying on with us.
"We are pleased to report that it has now been recognised that the destruction of our cheese was unwarranted and unnecessary and that FSS has finally started to share the evidence which they possess with us."
In a statement, Food Standards Scotland confirmed that samples taken from different batches of different cheeses tested positive for E.coli O157 and for other strains of the bacteria.
FSS chief executive Geoff Ogle said: "This outbreak led to one fatality and 11 people being hospitalised. This was a major food incident where there was a significant risk to public health, with a tragic outcome. We have therefore decided to release the three versions of our risk assessment, each undertaken as new information became available, as well as our final risk management decision document."


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