- Singapore Food Agency
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has recalled two batches of goat cheese imported from France due to high counts of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.
In a statement on Tuesday (July 9), SFA said that the implicated batches of goat cheese known as “Crottin De Pays” have not been distributed to the market for sale, and are currently being stored in the importer’s warehouse.
SFA also warned consumers of the risk of consuming cheese made from raw or unpasteurised milk as it is likely to contain more bacteria as compared to pasteurised milk.
According to Mayo Clinic – a medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota – E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestines of healthy people and animals.
While most varieties of the bacteria are harmless, a few particularly strains – such as the E. coli O157:H7 – produce a powerful toxin that damages the lining of the small intestine when ingested.
This results in abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, the medical center said.
It also noted that unlike many other disease-causing bacteria, only a small amount of E. coli needs to be ingested to cause an infection. This means that people can get infected by just eating a slightly undercooked hamburger, or from swallowing a mouthful of pool water contaminated with E. coli.
According to an article posted on Medical News Today, an E.coli infection can be passed through person-to-person contact, especially when infected patients do not wash their hands properly.
While most people recover within a week, some people – especially young children and older people – may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure that is life threatening, Medical News Today added.
Since there are currently no vaccines to protect people from the infection, SFA said that vulnerable groups of people, such as young children, pregnant women, elderly persons, or people with chronic illnesses should avoid consuming unpasteurised food products.
Those who do not feel well after consuming unpasteurised milk cheese should seek medical attention, it added.
SFA has also advised consumers to thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources and to keep raw food separate from vegetables, fruits, as well as cooked and ready-to-eat food.
The agency added that consumers should wash their hands, utensils, and any food preparation surfaces before and after handling raw food to avoid getting an E. coli infection.