One person has died in the UK following the outbreak of E.coli which has been linked to a number of recalled cheese products. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced a precautionary recall of five products from the Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese range since Christmas.

The product recall came amid fears the cheese may contain E.coli which could lead to fatal symptoms.

This product recall has affected major UK supermarkets including Waitrose

One person dead after E.coli outbreak linked to recalled cheese

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said 30 confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (Stec) have been recorded across England and Scotland since late July 2023 in people aged 7 to 81.

The agency added that one person from Scotland with the infection has now died and investigations are continuing into any common links between cases, including links to the recalled cheeses.

It said: “One death has been associated with this outbreak.

“Epidemiological and food chain investigations have identified links between some of the identified cases and a number of unpasteurised cheeses produced by a business in England.”

Cambs Times: There have been 30 confirmed cases (in England and Scotland) of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (Stec) since late July in people aged 7 to 81.There have been 30 confirmed cases (in England and Scotland) of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (Stec) since late July in people aged 7 to 81. (Image: PA)

Public Health Scotland (PHS), who are working with the UKHSA, FSA, and Food Standards Scotland to investigate the outbreak added: "PHS can confirm there has been one death associated with E.coli O145 in Scotland.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation in Scotland and are working with UKHSA, who are investigating at a UK-wide level.”

Product recall on cheese products due to risk of E.coli

FSA has issued a product recall on five cheese products:

  • Mrs Kirkham’s Mild and Creamy Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Mature Lancashire
  • Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire
  • No 1 Waitrose and Partners Farmhouse Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese

FSA said the product recall was made as a "precautionary step" as the products may be contaminated with  Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, (STEC).

Symptoms caused by STEC organisms include severe diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea), abdominal pain, and sometimes haemolytic uremic syndrome, (HUS), a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal, FSA added.

Cambs Times: A number of Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese products have been recalled.A number of Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese products have been recalled. (Image: Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese/Facebook)

Head of incidents at the FSA, Tina Potter, said: “We are aware that this recalled product may be popular over the festive period, especially as it has been sold as part of a Christmas gift hamper, and so we are urging consumers to check whether they have bought or been gifted this product.

“Due to this outbreak of E.coli O145, we are urging all consumers to ensure they follow the advice in the product recall notices, which details all of the products which may pose a risk.”

What to do if you have purchased one of the recalled cheese products

The FSA said anyone who has brought one of the Mrs Kirkham’s cheese products that have been recalled should not eat it and return it to the store it came from immediately. 

The FSA added: "Ensure the products is thoroughly wrapped and does not come into contact with any other foods.

"Wash your hands, equipment, utensils and surfaces that may have come into contact with the product thoroughly."

A full refund should be offered on the product from the store you purchased it at.

Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese issues statement following E.coli outbreak

Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese took to social media on Friday (December 29), to issue a statement following the news of the E.coli outbreak.

The company, on its Facebook page, said: "We have been made aware of an outbreak of Shinga Toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC), and some of the cases affected have reported consuming eating our cheese as part of a meal.

"Firstly, we would like to give our sympathies and well wishes to anyone who has been affected by this outbreak.

"Consumer safety is our top priority and we will not take any risk when it comes to protecting the health of our customers.

"We are Working closely with the relevant authorities, and whilst the situation is developing, we have taken the precautionary decision to recall and withdraw all of our cheese from the market.

"We are assured that our local authority have not identified any issues or concerns in our manufacturing process.

"Furthermore all the early tests carried out by government laboratories on our cheese have come back negative.

"We are waiting for further tests to be collected and the results will take a few days to become available.

"The FSA is also continuing its investigations of other products with a view to identifying the source of the outbreak.

"In the meantime, at this time, we urge consumers to check whether they have bought or been gifted these products and ensure they follow the advice on

"We also ask for anyone who has been ill to work with the authorities to provide information about foods they may have consumed to aid the investigation.

"If you are a business we have supplied, please hold onto the product whilst we continue our investigation and we will update and advise further as soon as we can.

"In the meantime, we welcome everyone’s patience."