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Seven dead and dozens sick: A Swiss cheese maker is convicted of negligent homicide

Seven dead and dozens sick: A Swiss cheese maker is convicted of negligent homicide

Seven dead and dozens sick
Swiss cheese maker convicted of negligent homicide

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In Switzerland, dozens of people became ill after eating cheese from a manufacturer in the canton of Schwyz. Up to seven people die. Although it quickly became clear that the cheese was contaminated with Listeria, the investigation took four years. Now the court issues its ruling.

A Swiss cheese manufacturer has been found guilty of multiple counts of negligent homicide in connection with contaminated products. The Schwyz District Court issued a two-year suspended prison sentence. An additional fine of 80 daily rates of 120 francs each (about 122 euros) was also imposed with suspended conditions.

According to the indictment, seven people died because they ate the manufacturer's cheese contaminated with Listeria. The defendant was also convicted of multiple counts of bodily harm and food code violations. The convicted cheese maker expressed his condolences to all those affected in court and said he regretted the incident. The ruling is not yet legally binding.

According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, a total of 34 consumers became ill between 2018 and 2020 due to products from the currently closed cheese factory in Steinerberg in the canton of Schwyz. Listeria was discovered during an inspection in May 2020. All customers were asked to remove the products from their collection. Scientific analysis then led researchers to trace previous diseases. The investigation into the case took nearly four years.

Pregnant women, children and the elderly are particularly at risk

The cheesemaker is said to have rarely checked its works and products for listeria, SRF reported, citing the indictment. He had to do this every three months. But on the one hand, the cheese was typically tested for other pathogens, and on the other hand, it neglected to send cheese and environmental samples for testing, the report said.

Listeria is a bacteria. The disease usually presents within 14 days of infection with gastrointestinal complaints, headache, and fever. More serious illnesses can occur, especially in pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

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