E coli outbreak forces food suppliers to recall products

Cases of E coli in the UK have almost doubled to more than 200 and it is thought traces of the disease have been found in sandwich products in various leading supermarkets.

On Friday the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed the number of confirmed cases of E coli – a bacteria that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms and can cause serious food poisoning – had reached 211 in the UK, including 147 in England, 27 in Wales, 35 in Scotland and two in Northern Ireland. It is believed that certain sandwich products are carrying traces of the bacteria and are being sold in leading supermarkets.

a croissant sandwich with tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce

Greencore, which supplies supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, is one of various companies recalling sandwich products that contain a certain variety of salad leaf linked to the outbreak. Samworth Brothers, another food organisation, which supplies Tesco, and its One Stop chain is recalling 15 kinds of sandwiches, wraps and subs for the same reason.

Of the current confirmed cases, the UKHSA said at least 67 people have been admitted to hospital. However, this is unfortunately expected to rise as more research is carried out on the ‘contaminated’ sandwich products that are in shops.

Although, some sources have claimed that the items being recalled don’t contain traces of E coli, as the affected batch of salad leaves has been used up, but products are still being taken off shelves as a precaution.

Darren Whitby, the FSA’s head of incidents, said: ‘This is a complex investigation, and we have worked swiftly with the relevant businesses and the local authorities concerned to narrow down the wide range of foods consumed to a small number of salad leaf products that have been used in sandwiches and wraps. Following thorough food chain analysis, these products are being recalled as a precaution.

‘Infections caused by Stec bacteria can cause severe bloody diarrhoea and, in some cases, more serious complications. We therefore advise any consumers who have any of these products not to eat them.’

Greencore said in a statement: ‘As a precautionary measure, we have voluntarily recalled a number of sandwiches and wraps due to a potential food safety risk.

‘Greencore adheres to the highest standards of food safety, and we are working closely with the Food Standards Agency and our suppliers to better understand the possible source of any potential issue.’

Image: Luis Covarrubias

More on this topic:

Research identifies first-ever link of psychological stress to IBD

NHS to offer lifechanging drug to premature babies

Emily Whitehouse
Writer and journalist for Newstart Magazine, Social Care Today and Air Quality News.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top