Four types of cheese have been “precautionarily” recalled due to a possible E. coli contamination ahead of Christmas Day.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced the recall for Mrs Kirkham’s Mild and Creamy Lancashire, Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire, Mrs Kirkham’s Mature Lancashire and Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire on Christmas Eve.

The FSA said the products might be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, (STEC), which can cause symptoms including severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain and occasionally haemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition which damages blood vessels and can lead to clots forming as well as fatal kidney failure.

People who have purchased the product are advised to store it safely, fully wrapped and ensure it is not in contact with other foods.

“Wash your hands, equipment, utensils and surfaces that may have come into contact with the product thoroughly,” the FSA said.

The product can be returned to where it was bought from for a full refund.

Point of sale notices will be displayed where the products were sold explaining why they have been recalled and what to do if they have been purchased.

When it comes to storing Christmas food, GP Dr Babak Ashrafi from Asda Online Doctor said people should use their common sense.

He said: “It is generally safe to keep food for a couple of days after Christmas, as long as it is refrigerated and stored properly. But use your best judgement before eating any leftovers, and be sure to throw away any food that doesn’t look or smell safe to eat.

“Leaving meat at room temperature, or not refrigerating it at low enough temperatures, can encourage bacteria to grow and lead to foodborne illnesses.

“Certain bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, thrive on meat and can make you very sick. Food contaminated with these bacteria can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and, in very serious cases, require medical treatment.”