Public Health England have issued an update after several people died from eating listeria infected sandwiches from hospitals.
The Literia outbreak has so far claimed 5 lives and since our first report on this case 3 more people have been infected taking the total number to 9.
The Listeria infected sandwiches were traced back to a supplier ‘Good Food Chain’ and its producer ‘North Country Cooked Meats’ and the NHS has since pulled the sandwiches from sale at all its hospitals.
Dr Nick Phin, Public Health England, said: “To date, there have been no patients linked to this incident outside healthcare organisations, but we continue to investigate. Swift action was taken to protect patients and any risk to the public is low. PHE is continuing to analyse all recent and ongoing samples of listeria from hospital patients to understand whether their illness is linked to this outbreak.
“PHE is working very closely with the Food Standards Agency, NHS England and Improvement, as well as partner organisations in Scotland and Wales, to investigate this outbreak.”
Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at the FSA said: “Our sympathies remain with the families of the patients who have tragically passed away. We have taken action along with local authorities to minimise the risk based on the evidence so far. The FSA will continue to investigate the cause of the outbreak to prevent a reoccurrence.”
Whole Genome Sequencing is a laboratory tool used to investigate the DNAsequence of bacteria. Using this technology, we can identify matches between samples taken from patients with listeria and the food products under investigation to confirm whether patients are linked to the outbreak.
For more on the food investigation, please visit the FSA website.
Further information on listeriosis.