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French authorities link Listeria infections to cheese company

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Ten people have been infected with Listeria monocytogenes in France linked to eating cheese from one company.

Authorities in Cantal, in the Auvergne region of France, ordered the business, Ferme de Gioux, to temporarily close and recall all cheeses because it was implicated in the listeriosis cases.

Cantal officials conducted several days’ worth of investigations at Ferme de Gioux. Results from these official controls, which covered cheeses and the premises, were described as “unfavorable” and led to the order to stop all production at the firm until further notice.

The 10 people with listeriosis are infected with the same strain and were identified by the National Reference Center of Listeria at the Pasteur Institute.

Ferme de Gioux brand cheese with code FR.15.162.181.CE was sold by direct sale and in local markets and stores.

Health authorities said people who have any of the products concerned by the withdrawal and recall should not consume them and should take items back to the point of sale.

Listeria is responsible for 300 to 400 infections per year in France and is the second top cause of foodborne deaths in the country.

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. The incubation period is usually one to two weeks but can vary between a few days and up to 90 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms to develop.

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

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