Supermarkets are recalling Primula cheese spread over deadly bacteria - here’s what to do if you have a tube

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 3:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 4:09 pm
This is what to do if you're affected by the recall (Photo: Primula)
This is what to do if you're affected by the recall (Photo: Primula)

Tubes of Primula cheese spread have been recalled due to fears that they have been contaminated with a dangerous bacteria.

Major supermarket chains like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are involved in the recall as they sold the tubes of cheese.

This is everything you need to know - and what to do if you’ve been affected by the recall.

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Why is Primula being recalled?

The product recall notice explains that 10 varieties of Primula Cheese tubes are being recalled as “a potential source of Clostridium botulinum” had been found in one of the products.

Clostridium botulinum is “a bacterium that produces dangerous toxins under low-oxygen conditions” according to the World Health Organisation.

WHO states that “botulinum toxins are one of the most lethal substances known” and that the toxins “block nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis”.

The product recall notice states in the risk statement: “The issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum.

“Botulinum toxin may cause a serious form of food poisoning called botulism and can be fatal.”

What products are being recalled?

There are 10 flavours of Primula Cheese that are being recalled. The recall affects both 100g and 150g tubes.

The flavours are:

  • Primula Plain Original Cheese Spread, 150g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Smoked Paprika, 150g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Jalapeno, 150g
  • Primula Light Cheese Spread, 150g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Ham, 150g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Chive, 150g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Prawn, 150g
  • Primula Original Cheese Spread (ambient), 100g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Ham (ambient), 100g
  • Primula Cheese Spread with Chives (ambient), 100g

The recall affects all of these flavours regardless of batch codes or best before dates.

What should I do if I’m affected by the recall?

The notice states that if you have bought any of the products detailed above, then you should not eat them.

The Food Standards Agency says that you should get in touch with Primula at [email protected] or by phone by calling 0800 716 551 to arrange a refund.

If you’re already making an essential trip to a supermarket, then you can take them there for a full refund as well. The notice states that this can be done “with or without a receipt”.

What are symptoms of botulism?

The NHS states that for those exposed to Clostridium botulinum bacteria, it can take between a few hours to several days to develop symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • Drooping eyelids
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Facial muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Breathing difficulties

Without treatment, the NHS says: “Botulism eventually causes paralysis that spreads down the body from the head to the legs.”

Botulism needs to be treated in the hospital, and treatment will depend on the type of botulism, but usually treatment will involve:

Neutralising the toxins with injections of special antitoxins or antibodiesSupporting the functions of the body, such as breathing, until you recover

Unfortunately there is no treatment to reverse paralysis that has been caused by the toxin, but these treatments can stop it from getting worse.

If you think you have the symptoms of botulism, the NHS states that you should go to your nearest A&E department or immediately call 999.