The cheeses of the French manufacturer Fromagère de la Brie have proven to be the cause behind six cases of listeriosis in France. Two patients died. The French health agency Santé publique France (SpF) announced this on Wednesday. The cheeses in question were also sold in Belgium, but after a warning in April for contamination with the listeria bacteria by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), they were withdrawn from the shelves and recalled.
“An investigation has been started to detect other possible infections with the bacteria from the cheeses of Fromagère de la Brie,” says doctor Mathieu Tourdjman, epidemiologist at SpF. A legal investigation has also been opened.
At the end of last week, the SpF had confirmed the death of a woman with listeriosis, who had consumed one of the cheeses involved. In addition, an unborn child died on Tuesday because the mother had listeriosis.
The cheeses from Fromagère de la Brie were also removed from the shelves in Belgium. At the beginning of April, both the SpF and the FASFC warned of the cheeses of the French manufacturer that are infected with the listeria monocytogenes bacterium.
Listeriosis is mainly caused by eating contaminated foods. For healthy people, an infection usually develops with flu symptoms. For young or unborn children, the elderly or people with reduced immunity, an infection can be serious to fatal.
According to the FASFC, no cases of listeriosis have yet been reported in Belgium that can be linked to the cheeses concerned.