Three hospital patients die after listeria outbreak linked to sandwiches

A hospital patient holing a tray of food including a sandwich

A hospital patient holing a tray of food including a sandwich

A 2016 report by food safety experts STS blamed pre-packaged sandwiches as the cause of "almost all" of nine previous hospital listeria outbreaks in 13 years, it emerged yesterday. Scientists linked the outbreak to chicken sandwiches from The Good Food Chain in Stone, Staffordshire.

The Good Food Chain had been supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats which subsequently produced a positive test result for the outbreak strain of listeria and has since voluntarily ceased production while the investigation continues.

A source at The Good Food Chain insisted that while its thoughts were with the families of those who had died or been taken ill, the company is adamant it followed food standard regulations to the letter. North Country Quality Foods has also voluntarily ceased production.

"To date, there have been no associated cases identified outside healthcare organisations and any risk to the public is low".

Symptoms, which are likely to last one to three days include muscle aches, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea and diarrhoea.

However, it can have more serious consequences for some people, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and pregnant women.

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A spokesman for North Country Cooked Meats said: "The company is now co-operating fully with the environmental health and the FSA [Food Standards Agency] in their investigations and a further statement will be issued in due course".

In March and April, Erie Meat Products recalled Druxy's Fresh Deli Revolution Brand Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef from the marketplace due to possible Listeria contamination.

Recently Cadbury recalled desserts after listeria monocytogenes fears. Healthy people may only experience mild symptoms and usually recover completely.

A listeria outbreak in the European Union caused concerns and four deaths.

As the outbreak was identified through sequencing and only a few European Union countries use this technique to identify Listeria, not all cases may have been identified so far and further outbreaks could continue. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.

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