East Midlands Hospitals Involved In Listeria Outbreak

18 June 2019, 08:24 | Updated: 18 June 2019, 08:25

Royal Derby Hospital

Two hospitals in the East Midlands are among those involved in a listeria outbreak, which has killed five patients.

The NHS has identified nine confirmed cases of listeria at seven different hospitals around the country, Public Health England has said.

Five people are suspected to have died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to the same supplier, The Good Food Chain.

The deaths occurred at four different hospital trusts - two at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, one at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool, one at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and the fifth at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Three other trusts have diagnosed listeria cases linked to the outbreak with no deaths.

There have been two cases at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one case at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and one at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

Details of the trusts affected come after Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned there will be "severe consequences" if there is evidence of "wrongdoing".

The Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS trusts across the UK as well as one independent provider, voluntarily ceased production and PHE said the investigation into the outbreak is continuing.

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.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people.

However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

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