Two cases of little girls contaminated with E.coli bacteria after consuming Morbier in December should remind us of a fact: raw milk cheese is a no-go before the age of 5.
Because they ate Morbier contaminated with E.coli bacteria last December, two little girls now find themselves with possibly irreversible renal and neurological after-effects. An avoidable risk by reserving raw milk cheese for adults.
2 cases of extremely serious contamination in December
Little Clara, 18 months old, came close to death after tasting morbier in December, we learned in recent days in the media. Hospitalized at the end of December, she was placed in an artificial coma for 25 days. Although her life is no longer in danger, the little girl’s future is worrying: she may never walk. “For the moment, she is recovering slowly, but we are unable to tell us what the neurological consequences will be.” indicate his parents.
This tragic story follows another case, also dating from December: Elise, 7 years old, also contaminated by raw milk cheese, is now on dialysis every day. The little girl is now at risk of a kidney transplant and can no longer play sports.
In both cases, the little girls ate morbier, a raw milk cheese, purchased in a Leclerc, which had ordered a product recall.
More chance of finding E.coli bacteria in raw milk
The cause of these hospitalizations is the very common bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli), which circulates in the digestive tract of ruminants and can therefore contaminate meat or milk. “It is also the one found in urinary infections” explains Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens. This can have consequences on vulnerable people, especially children, called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This is characterized by a combination of destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis), a drop in the number of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia), and acute kidney failure.
“Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, weakness, and kidney problems. The severity of HUS requires urgent medical attention, and treatment focuses on managing kidney complications and correcting blood abnormalities, with close monitoring to prevent further long-term complications” indicates the High Authority of Health.
According to Public Health Europearound 140 cases of HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) have been recorded in Europe.
No raw milk before 5 years
But what do we call raw milk? This is the milk as it comes out of the udder of the cow or goat which has not been pasteurized or heated and which is placed on the market (in the form of milk or cheese), without treatment. prior thermal. It is therefore particularly sensitive to the spread of bacteria.
For our expert, it is therefore a product to avoid at a young age. “Let’s be precise, Morbier like any other raw milk cheese is not supposed to be contaminated by E.coli. But as a precaution, it should not be given to children who are too young, it is not part of dietary diversification.”
A message recalled by the health authorities who ask not to give raw milk cheeses (such as Morbier, Reblochon, Roquefort, Salers, Brie, Pélardon, Mont d’Or, certain Camemberts) to children less than 5 years old.
At this age it is better to favor cooked pressed cheeses (such as Emmental, Comté, etc.), processed spreadable cheeses and pasteurized milk cheeses.