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No criminal charges over Scottish E. coli death

The Crown Office has confirmed that, based on the available evidence, no prosecutions would be brought against family-run Errington Cheese which was named as the most likely source of an E. coli outbreak in September 2016.

E. coli

20 October 2017

It is reported that between July and September 2016, a total of 26 cases were identified relating to the same strain of E. coli O157, it left 17 people requiring hospital treatment and resulted in the death of a three-year-old child.

The Crown Office has stated that a decision on whether to hold a fatal accident inquiry is currently under consideration.
 
Dunsyre Blue, an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese produced by Errington Cheese, was named in a report in March by Health Protection Scotland as the most likely source of the fatal outbreak. 

Errington Cheese has always maintained that their produce was not the source of the bacteria and had repeatedly challenged the quality of the investigation by Food Standards Scotland. 
 
Michelle Victor, partner in Leigh Day’s consumer law and product safety department, said:
 
“It is important that, in the event of any food safety concern or outbreak, public safety comes first and prompt action is taken by food producers and regulators.
 
“It is important that the source of the outbreak is identified, isolated and correctly confirmed.   It is crucial that any investigations carried out by health and food safety agencies are thorough and produce reliable findings.
 
“Consumers should not only be able to place trust in the food they eat, but also the system that is set up to protect them.  A lack of resources and specialist training at local level can impact on the ability of Food Safety and Trading Standards to carry out their jobs fully and it is important that the system is properly funded.”

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