More than 20 people are sick in France as part of a Salmonella outbreak suspected to be caused by raw milk goat cheese. The implicated cheese was also distributed to Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Investigations by French health authorities found about 20 salmonellosis cases linked to consumption of “Pélardon” products made by Mounier.

The company, based in Quezac, a commune of the Lozère department in the country, recalled the product in early August following detection of Salmonella. The recall was extended last week to include additional lot numbers and dates.

Fromage AOP Pélardon fermier 60g Earl Mounier Thierry with lot numbers between 24/06/2018 and 29/07/2018 and dates between 24/08/2018 and 29/09/2018 are affected.

Products were sold nationally from July 21 in retail stores and local markets. Authorities advised people who have products with the lots described above to not consume them. They should destroy them or take them back to where they were purchased.

Peter K. Ben Embarek, INFOSAN Management, Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at WHO, told Food Safety News that no cases linked to this outbreak have been reported from any countries other than France.

“The INFOSAN Secretariat has taken care of the information sharing with countries outside the EU who have imported the implicated products. A few countries in Asia and Africa were involved. They received details about the lots imported and took measures to trace and recall these products locally,” he said.

The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) is a network of 186 national food safety authorities, managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).

East Lothian Council in Scotland said a small quantity of the product was sold by Cheesee Peasee, the Cheese Van in the area and Edinburgh between July 27 and August 12.

The council advised anyone who had returned from abroad with the product to not consume but dispose of it.

Salmonellosis is caused by the bacteria Salmonella. The onset of infection symptoms occurs six to 72 hours after ingestion of Salmonella. Illnesses usually lasts two to seven days, according to the WHO.

Symptoms are relatively mild in otherwise healthy patients, who often recover without specific treatment. However, in children and elderly patients, the associated dehydration can become severe and life-threatening.

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