A Large Outbreak of Food Poisoning of Unknown Aetiology Associated With Stilton Cheese

Epidemiol Infect. 1991 Jun;106(3):497-505. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800067558.


Between November 1988 and January 1989, a total of 155 people in 36 reported outbreaks suffered gastrointestinal symptoms associated with eating Stilton cheese, produced from unpasteurized cow's milk in the English midlands. Symptoms were suggestive of a staphylococcal illness but extensive laboratory testing of cheeses implicated in several of the outbreaks failed to detect any pathogen, toxin or chemical. Control measures were implemented, and included a voluntary withdrawal of the implicated Stilton cheese from sale on 23 January 1989 and a subsequent decision to use pasteurized milk in production of the cheese.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cheese / poisoning*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diarrhea
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Nausea
  • Staphylococcal Food Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vomiting