Food Safety News has reported that a severe E. coli outbreak in France linked to raw milk cheese caused illness in 11 children.

The 11 hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) cases were reported in late 2023. HUS is a severe complication associated with E. coli infections that causes kidney failure. Santé publique France surveillance on HUS only covers children younger than 15 years old in the country, so there could be other sick people in the outbreak.

An investigation led to a withdrawal and recall of raw milk cheese in mid-December. This covered cheeses such as morbier, raclette, and tomme, manufactured by Route des Terroirs. The cheese was distributed throughout France.

Epidemiological, microbiological and traceability work found a link between some patients and Morbier cheese produced by Route des Terroirs. However, officials added they haven’t ruled out other sources of contamination.

Health authorities said raw milk and cheeses made from raw milk should not be consumed by young children, particularly those under five, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people.