E.coli found in imported cheese
Fin24 - Nov 10th 2011, 08:45
Johannesburg - Almost 22 tonnes of imported Irish cheddar cheese was destroyed last week because it was contaminated with E.coli bacteria, the Milk Producers' Organisation (MPO) said on Wednesday.
"The results were confirmed by independent tests conducted on request of the exporter and the consignment was rejected by (Durban) Port Health," chief executive Bertus de Jongh said in a statement.
Some strains of Escherichia coli - commonly known as E.coli - bacteria can cause food poisoning, urinary tract infections and neonatal meningitis.
The MPO appealed to local authorities not to allow Irish dairy products into South Africa until their safety had been confirmed.
This was because imported dairy products often did not meet South African health and safety standards.
The low prices of many Irish dairy products could also damage the local dairy industry, De Jongh said.
He said consumers should check the labels of cheddar cheese before purchase to ensure it was of South African origin, and therefore subject to health and safety regulations.
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