A wheel of Reblochon, a semi-soft mountain cheese, with curds in a farm at the Aravis Col, in La Clusaz, on August 21, 2013. Farm-produced Reblochon, granted with the AOC title, are made from milk of Abondance breed cows which is collected twice a day. (AFP/Jean-Pierre Clatot)
French health authorities said Friday they were investigating whether a child's death was linked to an E.coli infection from eating contaminated reblochon cheese that had previously hospitalised several children.
Public Health France said it could "neither dismiss nor confirm" whether the death was linked to the contaminated cheese, which has been traced to a producer.
On May 14, authorities ordered a recall of producer Chabert's reblochon when six young children were hospitalised after eating the raw-milk cheeses made at its site in Cruseilles, eastern France.
On Friday evening, Chabert announced a recall of all its new reblochon batches "as a precautionary measure".
Public Health France said in a statement that as of May 31, 14 children aged from one to five years old are part of the investigation.
Of the 14 children, six were infected with the same strain of bacteria and are known to have consumed the suspected cheese, the statement added.
Investigations are continuing for the other eight children, as it is not known if they ate the cheese in question.
Public Health France gave no further information about the child who died.
Contamination from E.coli, which mostly occurs through food, is dangerous for young children as it can lead to severe kidney failure.
After the previous recall, French authorities urged parents not to let young children eat raw-milk cheese.