Calpe cheese linked to meningitis alert

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Typical Basque sheep milk cheese

PUBLIC health authorities in Calpe have withdrawn a batch of cheeses that contain the risk of contracting meningitis.

A shipment of cheese seized yesterday being distributed by Ohian Txiki Koop, may have contained the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes that is suspected to be behind a case of meningitis detected in Madrid. The person affected developed the symptoms of the disease after eating some of the confiscated cheese.

The varieties of cheese affected are Gutizia, raw sheep milk cheese, Txuria, soft cheese from raw sheep’s milk and Beltza, lactic cheese-curl of raw sheep’s milk.

According to sources, health inspectors had discovered a batch of the suspected cheese in a hotel’s restaurant in Calpe that had been distributed in Alicante and originating from Madrid.

At first, the initial withdrawal of these cheeses only affected Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country where they were first distributed but it was later realised that some had found their way into the Alicante province.

The alarm was raised when a 39-year-old man in Madrid was admitted into hospital in the Spanish capital suffering from the symptoms of meningitis.

Consumers are asked to check their fridges and larders and if they have any of the brands listed above, they should return them to the point of purchase immediately and not eat the cheese.

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