The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has recalled all batches of an unpasteurised French cheese, Tesco Finest St Felicien Du Dauphine, from Tesco due to health concerns.
It is being recalled due to the possible presence of Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC) and notices will be displayed in Tesco stores advising consumers not to eat the affected cheese.
STEC, also known as Verocytotoxigenic E coli (VTEC), are a specific group of E coli. While most E coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans, STEC produce a powerful toxin which can cause severe illness.
Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea which is sometimes bloody. Usually there is little or no fever, and patients recover within five to 10 days.
However, the risk is far greater in children under the age of five and the elderly. It can cause red blood cells to be destroyed and the kidneys to stop working properly. The time between the initial infection and the first symptoms appearing is typically between three and four days.