A voluntary recall has been issued for a Vancouver Island-produced cheese linked to an E. coli outbreak that infected five people.

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks' Qualicum Spice cheese should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

The E. coli outbreak occurred between August and October and was traced back to the unpasteurized product, which has a best before date up to and including April 24, 2019.

An investigation is ongoing "to determine the source and extent of contamination," the BCCDC said.

Qualicum Spice cheese is sold throughout B.C. in grocery stores, farmers' markets, wineries, restaurants and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks' farmgate store.

While the company produces other types of cheeses, only Qualicum Spice is affected and others do not need to be discarded, according to the BCCDC.

People who fall ill from E. coli can experience a wide range of symptoms that appear within one to 10 days after infection.

Those symptoms include severe cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache or slight fever.

Anyone who has already eaten the cheese but did not experience symptoms is in the clear, the centre said.