Food & Drink

Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese – beloved northern-made cheese urgently recalled on Christmas Day

Ruined cheeseboards all over the UK.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 26th December 2023

A legendary local cheese manufacturer had to issue an urgent recall notice on Christmas Day due to a possible E. Coli contamination.

Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese Ltd took the precautionary step to recall its cheese products which could contain the dangerous bacteria.

The north west producer’s cheese products are the stuff of legend and will have been heading for countless cheeseboards around the UK.

But households were warned by the Food Standards Agency that if they had purchased items from Mrs Kirkham’s, it should not be eaten.

Instead, the public have been advised to contact the retailer they brought the cheese from and to keep it safely wrapped and not in contact with other foods.


The affected batches date all the way back to those purchased from 1 October 2023.

Mrs Kirkham’s has said it’s now left ‘in limbo’ as they wait for testing laboratories to reopen from the Christmas break.


The business assured customers last night that its products go through ‘rigorous and thorough testing’ but that there are new testing techniques that aren’t yet industry standards, and it’s those new techniques that detected possible E. Coli.

Symptoms associated with E. Coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and vomiting, with some people experiencing a mild fever. Some infections are severe or even life-threatening. Which isn’t very festive.

The notice from the Food Standards Agency said: “Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese Ltd has taken the precautionary step of recalling various Lancashire Cheese products because the products might contain E. Coli.


“The cheeses are sometimes sold as a full block or served as individual portions, it may have been provided as part of a hamper you’ve purchased or been gifted. In some cases it’s been sold as part of a charcutier grazing platter.

“It may not always be clear whether you have purchased an affected product. If in doubt, consumers are advised to contact the retailer they bought their cheese from to find out if the cheese they have purchased is from the businesses and batches affected and, in the meantime, to not eat the product and ensure it is stored safely, fully wrapped and not in contact with other foods.”

Mrs Kirkham’s wrote yesterday: “Good morning to all our customers and followers, further to reports in the media released this morning, we have taken the difficult decision to recall all of our products. This is a precautionary measure, based on information we only received around yesterday teatime.

“Whilst at this time, there has been no testing carried out on our products by the FSA to confirm any suspected risks, we feel it is our duty to recall our products.

“We are working very closely with our local Environmental Health Officers and the Food Standards Agency to fully understand the situation, and whether our products have been correctly implicated.


“Our modern and purpose built facility here at Mrs kirkham’s, is accredited to the Safe And Local Supplier Approval + cheese (SALSA) standard, and as a member of The Specialist Cheesemakers Association we are careful to always adhere to their code of best practice within our business.

“This recall relates to new testing techniques designed to better identify potentially dangerous strains of Shiga Toxin producing E.coli. Unfortunately, these new testing techniques are not currently industry standard. As a result, despite rigorous and thorough testing throughout our production processes, the potential risk to product safety was not previously identified.

“We are now unfortunately in a state of limbo until testing laboratories reopen and resume testing. As soon as they do, together with the FSA we will investigate further.

“Due to the ongoing and uncertain nature of this situation we would advise our customers to be aware that a recall has also been issued for several other unrelated products.

“We would like to assure all our customers that as we have more information, we will be posting updates on the situation here. We apologise for any inconvenience caused at such an important time of year.


“Thank you, The Kirkham Family.”

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