Three Britons die after eating pre-packed sandwiches

Paul Gallagher     54 mins Friday June 7th 2019   
 


	
		
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The people who died were being treated at two hospitals in the northern English cities of Manchester and Liverpool, the health agencysaid.

An investigation has been launched into the source of the infection, which is linked to pre-packed sandwiches supplied by The Good Food Chain, Public Health England said.

"Following investigations by Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency, The Good Food Chain has confirmed that its production facility in Stone, Staffordshire was cross-contaminated by an ingredient from one of its approved meat suppliers", the company said in a statement to CNN. North Country Quality Foods has also voluntarily ceased production. Now there are no cases in Scotland or in Wales.

The sandwiches and salads affected are no longer being produced while investigations continue and the affected products were withdrawn from hospitals when the links to the listeria infections were first identified.

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The business was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which has since tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria and also stopped production.

PHE said the health risk to the public remains low and individuals should only seek medical attention if they develop symptoms.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director at the National Infection Service at PHE said: "To date, there have been no associated cases identified outside healthcare organisations, and any risk to the public is low".

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria which causes illness.

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"Our sympathies are with the families of those patients who have tragically passed away", said Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at the UK's Food Standards Agency. We have taken action along with local authorities to minimise the risk based on the evidence so far.

The patients died of listeriosis, a rare bacterial infection that is especially risky for people with weak immune systems or pregnant women.

"The FSA will continue to investigate how the outbreak occurred and if further steps are required to protect vulnerable groups", he added.

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