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The number of infections exceeds 250 in the E. coli outbreak in the United Kingdom



The number of infections exceeds 250 in the E. coli outbreak in the United Kingdom

The number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak linked to lettuce leaves has surpassed 250.

Since the end of May, there have been 256 confirmed patients in the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O145 outbreak.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Public Health Scotland and Public Health Wales are investigating the increase in infections.

A total of 168 people are sick in England, 29 in Wales and 56 in Scotland. Northern Ireland has three cases, who likely acquired their infections in England. Patients have been registered in most age groups, the majority being young adults.

Based on information from 227 cases so far, at least 86 people have been admitted to hospitals.

Link to salad in sandwiches
Prepackaged lettuce sandwiches are likely the cause of the outbreak.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have issued a precautionary recall notice covering a range of products potentially contaminated with E. coli.

Samworth Brothers and Greencore Group recalled a range of products sold at various retailers including Tesco, Aldi, Asda, Boots, Co-op, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

Darren Whitby, head of incidents at FSA, said the agency was working with relevant companies and local authorities on the investigation.

“Several sandwich manufacturers have now taken precautionary measures to withdraw and recall various sandwiches, wraps, subs and rolls, as the food chain and epidemiological links have allowed us to limit a wide range of consumed foods to a small number of lettuce leaves used in these products,” he said.

“While we are confident that the source of the outbreak is linked to a small number of lettuce leaves, which we identified early on through extensive food chain analysis, efforts are being made with growers, suppliers and manufacturers are still working to identify the root cause of the outbreak. that measures can be taken to prevent recurrence. We will remain vigilant until the root cause of the outbreak is confirmed and we remain open to possible causes of the outbreak.”

Legal action
Food safety experts from law firm Leigh Day urged anyone to get in touch if they need advice after being affected by E. coli in food.

A surveyor who was diagnosed with E. coli after eating a sandwich that has since been recalled has hired lawyers from Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness.

John Daniels, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, bought a chicken and bacon Caesar wrap at a Manchester Boots branch on May 11. Within two days, the 66-year-old started feeling unwell and complained of stomach pain. He developed severe diarrhea and started losing blood.

Daniels was admitted to a hospital on May 19. The next day he was diagnosed with E. coli and sent home on May 22. Five days later he returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

“What John has suffered in recent weeks is deeply concerning, and he is understandably upset and saddened by what he has experienced as a result of the E. coli infection,” said Sarita Sharma, public health attorney at Irwin Mitchell .

“The UKHSA is now investigating and has found that John’s illness is likely to have come from the recalled sandwich. It is now critical that lessons are learned, where appropriate, to ensure consumer safety.”

Daniels said: “The past month has been nothing short of traumatic. I’ve never been this sick before so I knew something was very wrong, but to hear I had E. coli and then Guillain-Barre syndrome was a huge shock. My condition went from bad to worse as I developed one complication after another. Physically I’m still not well, and I don’t know if I ever will be. It is deeply disturbing to hear how many others have been affected by this.”

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