At least five people in British Columbia have been confirmed with E. coli infections linked to unpasteurized cheese, prompting a recall and a public warning from health officials.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is urging consumers to discard or return to the place of purchase any Little Qualicum Cheeseworks’ Qualicum Spice cheese that they currently have at home.

Five people in B.C. have been confirmed with E. coli infections, with illness onset dates between August and October. Qualicum Spice cheese samples were tested and found to be contaminated with E. coli. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source and extent of contamination.

With best-before dates up to and including April 24, 2019, there is concern people may not realize they have the recalled cheese and might be planning to serve it in the future.

Qualicum Spice is an unpasteurized, raw cheese. It is distributed throughout British Columbia and sold in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, wineries, restaurants and at the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks farmgate store. Little Qualicum Cheeseworks has recalled the affected product. Little Qualicum Cheeseworks produces several other types of dairy products. No other products are being recalled at this time.

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