Public asked to toss Qualicum Spice cheese after E. coli outbreak
5 people became sick between August and October: BCCDC
A raw milk cheese made on Vancouver Island has been linked to an E. coli outbreak, prompting a warning from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Anyone who has Little Qualicum Cheeseworks' Qualicum Spice cheese in their home is asked to return it or throw it away, according to a BCCDC statement released on Tuesday.
The cheese, made by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, tested positive for E. coli bacteria after five people became sick between August and October.
Qualicum Spice is an unpasteurized cheese that is only sold in B.C. It's distributed in grocery stores, farmers' markets, wineries, restaurants and at the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks farmgate store.
Little Qualicum Cheeseworks has voluntarily recalled the product. None of the cheesemaker's other products are being recalled at this time.
People who become ill from E. coli may have no symptoms while others may require hospitalization.
The following symptoms can appear within one to 10 days after infection:
- Severe stomach cramps.
- Diarrhea or bloody diarrhea.
- Little or no fever.
Anyone who becomes sick after eating the cheese is asked to stay hydrated and practise good handwashing to prevent the spread of illness.
Antibiotics and anti-diarrhea medications should not be used to treat an E. coli infection unless prescribed.