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Sixth death from listeria outbreak linked to NHS sandwiches – Public Health England

Sixth death from listeria outbreak linked to NHS sandwiches – Public Health England
A sixth person has died from listeria after eating contaminated NHS sandwiches, as Public Health England (PHE) continues an inquiry into whether more people have died from the outbreak.

The victim, who was one of nine previously confirmed cases that had contracted the severe disease, “acquired listeriosis from Good Food Chain products,” while at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a Public Health England spokesman confirmed.

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In June, public health officials revealed that five listeria-infected patients had died, and nine more were seriously ill after eating food in NHS hospitals containing the deadly bacteria. Officials have confirmed that they are testing all samples of listeria on a regular basis to check if they are linked to this outbreak.

What is listeria?

Listeria is a bacteria that can cause a severe disease in humans, but normally only affects individuals who don’t have a strong immune system. It is caught by eating contaminated food.

Where is it commonly picked up from?

This type of bacteria is killed if food is cooked, so the infection is usually caused by ready-to-eat food – such as sandwiches –  that become contaminated. It’s found in soil so can come from herbs and salads, but it also regularly contaminates cured meats, soft cheeses, pates, and vegetables.

43 out of the 135 NHS trusts were supplied by The Good Food Chain and they have been placed on alert for cases of listeria, which can lead to sepsis and meningitis. It can cause pregnant women to miscarry, and can also be passed to unborn children.

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