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Caution on Roquefort reiterated

Caution on Roquefort reiterated

15 May 2008

For nine months New Zealanders have enjoyed being able to buy the semi-hard raw milk cheese Roquefort directly imported from France.

For most healthy New Zealanders, these cheeses are considered to be no more risky than a number of other foods sold in New Zealand, for example raw shellfish. However for more vulnerable groups – such as the frail elderly, expectant mothers and anyone whose immune system may be compromised by chronic illness – the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) reiterates its advice that they should avoid these cheeses.

Raw milk cheeses, such as Roquefort, are particularly dangerous for at-risk people because this type of product is more likely to contain microbiological hazards that can cause severe, even life-threatening, illness. In countries where raw milk cheeses have been part of the culture, people know that they should not eat them if they are pregnant, or frail in any way. However, as they are new to New Zealand, consumers are again reminded that vulnerable people should avoid them.

More information about safe foods for at-risk groups is available from www.nzfsa.govt.nz or your local Public Health Unit.

To date no cases of illness associated with consumption of Roquefort cheese have been identified in New Zealand.


ENDS

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