errington cheese

FSA has called the ruling on Errington Cheese ’premature’

Food Standards Scotland has criticised South Lanarkshire Council’s decision to allow the sale of products made by the cheesemaker linked to a major Scottish e.coli outbreak.

The batches of Corra Linn from Errington Cheese were taken for testing by the council last month, and were subsequently served a 21-day detention notice to enable further testing, with the exception of nine batches, which Errington was allowed to sell.

Food Standards Scotland has called the decision “premature”, due to insufficient evidence showing that the cheese is safe.

FSS said it understood Errington Cheese had begun selling batches of Corra Linn cheese, despite a Food Alert For Action notice (FAFA) advising local authorities not to allow the cheesemaker’s products to be placed on the market.

“Errington Cheese has now, following several requests from FSS, supplied the results of its own laboratory testing, which have raised further concerns and support FSS’s position that the cheeses have not been produced safely,” said a spokesman for FSS.

“FSS has advised South Lanarkshire Council, as the competent authority, of the assurances it would require from them before considering any modification to this Food Alert For Action. To date, FSS has not received these assurances.”

A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council defended its actions. “We have worked throughout this period to assure public safety,” he said. “We will continue to do that through proportionate action.”

In a statement on Errington’s website, a spokesman for the cheesemaker said: “We are confused by the apparent differences between FSS and SLC because SLC approved the sale of certain batches of Corra Linn. We do not understand why the FAFA is being used in this way.

“We look forward to the court hearing, which has been fixed and which will allow the Sheriff to hear the evidence for and against the cheese and to make a decision regarding its fitness for consumption.”