Seven people in France have been infected with the same strain of Listeria after consuming organic dairy products.

The outbreak was identified by the National Reference Center for Listeria and an eighth case is under investigation.

Investigations by Santé Publique France and the Directorate-General for Food (DGAL) have identified the consumption of organic dairy items by the affected people and made the link with products made by La Ferme Durr following analyses of food samples.

The company, based in Bas-Rhin, Alsace, has withdrawn from sale and recalled all dates of Durr brand organic dairy products including natural yogurt and yogurt with fruit, cream, cottage cheese, and cheese. Products were sold directly at the firm, in markets and stores throughout France. Puddings identified by the name ‘Les Flans’ are not affected.

Production halted

French authorities said all production from the company is shut down until further notice. They added people who have the affected dairy products should not consume them and should bring them back to the point of sale.

Everything will be done to resume production under the required sanitary conditions, according to a company statement.

The firm said it was “dismayed and deeply sorry” for the potential impact the incident could have and added it is the first time such a problem had happened in their history.

The company thanked consumers for their support and said it hoped those affected recovered quickly.

It can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. Symptoms of the infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are more at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications.

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