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Hummus salmonella scare – products recalled from UK supermarkets

hummus salmonella scare

UK hummus salmonella scare products recall

Last week’s hummus recall has been extended. Zorba Delicacies manufacture a range of hummus products and originally recalled products with use-by dates of 7 November. This has now been extended to November 17th.

The full list of recalled hummus products can be read on the Food Standards Agency website. The manufacturer supplies Aldi, Morrisons, Lidl, Asda and Sainsburys. Their products are also sold be John Lewis, Iceland, Booker, Spar, Safeway and the Real Deli. A Nando’s product is also affected.

The products were recalled because of concerns over potential salmonella contamination.

According to Zorba Delicacies further testing of the suspected ingredient had “resulted in a new presumptive indication of the presence of salmonella in a sample of the ingredient”.

“We immediately alerted the FSA [Food Standard Agency] and our customers of this finding.

“While this will not be confirmed, for certain, until further testing has been completed, and despite all other samples being totally clear, we have taken the precautionary step of recalling additional hummus items based on this presumptive result.”

Salmonella poisoning can be very serious

If you think you have Salmonella from eating affected Hummus products, or for any other reason, you should contact a medical practitioner immediately.

For more information please read our article on Salmonella poisoning

Food Allergen product recall

Food Allergens, can you trust labels?

  • There have been reports in the press recently about food product recalls, many of which are for incorrect allergen labelling.
  • Waitrose, Lidl, Aldi and Boots have all pulled mislabelled foods.
  • These include ice cream, crisps, flapjacks, coleslaw and more.
Food Allergen Waitrose recall Waitrose Sour Cream and Chive mix

Food Allergens: Waitrose recall Waitrose Sour Cream and Chive mix

There has been a spate of food product recalls due to mislabelling or concerns over hygiene standards. Examples of foods recalled due to inadequate food allergen labelling include:

  • Lidl GB has recalled Alpenfest Pretzel Ice Cream because it contains 5 allergens that are not labelled in English.
  • Waitrose is recalling Waitrose Sour Cream and Chive mix. This is because it contains wheat which is not listed on the label. So this poses a risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten.

Recalls are not just for inadequate labelling

The recalls are not limited to mislabelled foods and the health threat they pose to people with a food allergen. There are also risks to health due to contamination with bacteria that are known to cause food poisoning. For example Soupologie have recalled three varieties of their soups because they may contain Listeria monocytogenes. This is very serious because 20 to 30% of listeriosis infections in high-risk individuals may be fatal.

Other foods have been recalled due to contamination with foreign objects such as metal or plastics. The list is too long to go into, but you can read the full list by following the link at the foot of this article. For us, who regularly represent people who have had food poisoning, and have seen the distress and suffering it can cause, this is a grave situation. We can only call again for stringent enforcement of food labelling and food hygiene standards in the preparation of  food.

For those who have food allergens it only underlines yet again that, sadly, you have to take extreme care when buying any prepared foods. Sometimes it seems that the only safe way to proceed is to just eat food that you have prepared and made yourself from fresh ingredients. This begs the question – who in our modern world has the time or the money to live in that manner?

If you or a loved one has had food poisoning from any commercial outlet, including hospitals and medical premises, we may be able to help you. Please feel free to get in contact. We’ll give you a quick and fair assessment of whether you can make a claim for compensation.

You can ring us on 01535 958778 or fill in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you asap.

Read the full list of products recalled.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/lidl-asda-waitrose-tell-shoppers-17075897

Find out more about making a cliam for food poisoning or allergic / anaphylactic reaction

food allergy death for British boy in Italy

A seven year boy, Cameron Wahid, died after a food allergy reaction to spaghetti on holiday in Italy.

After a four year fight to get satisfaction for their awful loss the restaurant owner has been given a two year suspended sentence. The family were awarded £288,000 compensation.

Waiter was warned about food allergy

Cameron went into anaphylactic shock and collapsed after eating a pasta meal in a restaurant near Amalfi in Italy. The boy’s Mother, Cassandra Wahid, told a waiter that Cameron couldn’t eat any dairy products. But the waiter didn’t understand this and Cameron was served pasta that contained dairy products. This was because the tomato sauce contained milk.

Cameron’s father, Riz Wahid said. “We were always so careful about letting everyone know about the severity of Cameron’s allergy because it was such a danger for him.

“I feel compelled to do everything I can, so that nobody else has to watch their child die as we did.

“No amount of money will never make up for what we have been through and our hope is that now these proceedings are over lessons will be learned so that other people with allergies do not suffer the same fate.”

The news of this sad case echoes the recent case of the death of teenager Owen Cary from a similar situation. Despite making staff aware of his dairy allergy Owen Cary was served with chicken marinated in buttermilk. He too suffered an anaphylactic reaction and died from his severe allergic response.

Food allergen information on menus must be improved

It’s clear that anyone with a food allergy must take extreme care when eating out. You cannot rely on an informal conversation with staff as this is exactly what happened in both these tragic cases. Also in both cases the court found that food allergen information on the menu was insufficient or not prominent enough. We again call for regulations for the inclusion of food allergen information on menus must be clear, full, and prominently displayed.

If you or a loved one has had food poisoning from any commercial outlet, including hospitals and medical premises, we may be able to help you. Please feel free to get in contact. We’ll give you a quick and fair assessment of whether you can make a claim for compensation. You can ring us on 01535 958778 or fill in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you asap.

See more info in our page on anaphylactic shock

Read more:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/11971144/British-boy-dies-after-allergic-reaction-during-family-meal-in-Italy.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/11971144/British-boy-dies-after-allergic-reaction-during-family-meal-in-Italy.html

Salmonella: 100 cases in last three years

Over 100 cases of salmonella poisoning from UK eggs in last three years

Dozens of people have been poisoned after eating British eggs contaminated with one of the most dangerous forms of salmonella.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed this shocking state of affairs on September 20th 2019. According to the Agency there has been 100 cases over the last three years. 45 of these are from a serious outbreak in January 2019. Health officials traced this outbreak back to contaminated eggs and poultry farms.

The government’s food safety watchdog, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), had issued assurances in 2017 that it was safe to east raw or lightly cooked eggs that bore the British Lion stamp. The government has failed to issue any public warnings since then. This is despite 25 flocks testing positive for salmonella this year, seven of them with dangerous strains. Two egg packing factories, one of which supplies leading supermarkets, have also been contaminated. The 2019 results are not isolated and the situation seems to be getting worse. In 2018 28 flocks tested positive, four of them with dangerous strains.

Public Health England (PHE) told the investigation that it had been investigating this situation for three years.

The Bureau said: “This means that PHE knew of poisoning cases even as the FSA declared that almost all eggs produced in the UK were free of salmonella, and that it was safe once again for those vulnerable to infection to eat raw eggs.”

If you or anyone you know thinks you may have salmonella it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible.  You should also inform the Environmental Health Office so that they can take appropriate action.

If you have got salmonella from eating take away or restaurant food you should seek advice from a qualified solicitor. You may have a case for making a claim for compensation. We are experts on all types of food poisoning claims.

Please see our article on how to claim for salmonella food poisoning

Here is the original article from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Teenager died from allergic reaction eating at Byron Burger

The teen, Owen Cary, had made the staff aware that he had food allergies. Yet a Coroner’s enquiry found that a teenager’s tragic death was caused by an anaphylactic  reaction to buttermilk in a chicken burger. The coroner’s court was told that the menu didn’t mention that the chicken had been marinated in buttermilk, a dairy food allergen.

The Coroner stated that current policy left too much room for error. However Byron’s technical manager, responsible for food safety training, said “If you have an allergy you should be asking for information and the team would be able to provide that information in the allergy guide.”

The deceased was not informed there were allergens in the food ordered

The assistant coroner, Briony Ballards, ruling stated:

” The deceased made serving staff aware of his allergies. But the menu… made no reference to any marinade or potential allergenic ingredient in the food selected.

“The deceased was not informed that there were allergens in the order. However the food served to and consumed by the deceased contained dairy. This caused the deceased to suffer a severe anaphylactic reaction from which he died.”

The parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after eating a Pret A Manger baguette, called the ruling a “landmark judgement”.

Clodagh Bradley QC, representing Carey’s family, from Crowborough, East Sussex said that the allergy information was hard to read on the menu. This was because the information was on the back cover and printed in black on a blue background.

Owen Carey’s mother called on the government to change the law. She said ” We hope we can bring about change with Owen’s Law for better allergen labelling in restaurants.”

Francis O’Neill, our principal solicitor, said “This case shows how vital it is to make staff aware of any specific allergen requirements. But it also shows that the law needs to be even clearer about food allergen labelling and information. This need to be put clearly and where it can be seen on menus, and not in small type on the back . It seems even the staff were unaware the burger contained allergens – with fatal consequences”.

If you or a loved one has had food poisoning from any commercial outlet, including hospitals and medical premises, we may be able to help you. Please feel free to get in contact. We’ll give you a quick and fair assessment of whether you can make a claim for compensation. You can ring us on 01535 958778 or fill in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you asap.

This article is compiled from publicly available press reports.  The information is published in good faith but we cannot vouch for its truth or accuracy. Please seek appropriate qualified medical or legal advice before taking any action. 

Please see our article about anaphylactic shock.

Pru Leith leads hospital food review

Major Review of Hospital Food after Listeria Deaths

The government has asked Celebrity Great British Bake Off chef Pru Leith to lead a major new review of hospital catering. The review follows the tragic deaths of 6 people in a listeria outbreak hospitals across the UK. The outbreak came from people eating pre-packaged food supplied to hospitals.

The review will;

  • focus on driving up quality to make healthier and more sustainable meals
  • reduce dependence on prepacked sandwiches and salads,
  • examine whether catering should be brought in-house
  • and establish national standards.

17 initiatives since 2000 and no discernible improvement in hospital food

The announcement has been met with a jaded response in some quarters as other famous chefs have been involved in similar reviews over many years;  Albert Roux was asked more than 25 years ago, then Lloyd Grossman, Heston Blumenthal and recently James Martin. However a 2013 a report found that over £50m has been wasted on failed schemes to improve food quality in hospitals. Previous schemes relied on hospitals to voluntarily follow recommended standards. The 2013 report concluded that hospitals need national quality standards to be enforced for any improvement to occur.

Fresh locally sourced food is aim of the review

Outsourcing is one of the key issues the report is expected to address. But not every hospital has the capacity to provide  in-house catering. Given that many hospitals spend £3 per meal, building kitchens and meeting the specific dietary requirements of individual patients will be very challenging for many hospitals.

Lucy Watson chair of the Patients Association said ‘across the country the consistency of the quality of food provided for patients… is very variable… this review, trying to bring fresh food and food prepared on-site back into our local hospitals is very welcome’.

Rob Percival head of food policy at the Soil Association which has a programme called Food For Life which supports NHS hospitals said ‘we know that it’s possible to serve freshly prepared high quality meals… in a cost neutral manner and the feedback from patients.. has been hugely positive’.

Pru Leith said; “Over the years, I’ve campaigned quite often with different organisations about hospital food because it seems to me so obvious that if you’re in a hospital you need to be fed healthily. Food is medicine.”

If you or a loved one has had food poisoning from any commercial outlet, including hospitals and medical premises, we may be able to help you. Please feel free to get in contact and we’ll give you a quick and fair assessment of whether you can make a claim for compensation. You can ring us on 01535 958778 or fill in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you asap.

Dining out Gluten free in the UK

Eating Out for Coeliacs in the UK

It’s a tough call being coeliac. At O’Neill Injury Solicitors we know this from personal experience. It’s a large part of the reason why we specialise in helping people who’ve suffered from consuming food with allergens. We know how serious the consequences can be.

So it’s great to find anything that may make life a bit less stressful. This article is a bit of a shout-out to one such organisation, Coeliac UK, the national UK charity for coeliacs.

They recently published a list of national restaurants that have been awarded their strict GF accreditation. So we hope they will like us sharing this really helpful information to an audience that doesn’t necessarily know of Coeliac UK or their Gluten Free Standard accreditation scheme.

Look out for the Coeliac UK Gluten Free accreditation symbol in restaurants, cafes and takeaway. If you can’t see it ask if they are Gluten Free accredited.

UK Restaurants that have GF accreditation

  • Browns
  • Carluccios
  • Cote Brasserie
  • Domino’s
  • Frankie & Benny’s
  • Handmade Burger co
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Miller & Carter
  • Pho
  • Pizza Hut restaurants and delivery
  • PizzaExpress
  • Prezzo

As ever it’s only wise to check that the restaurant you want to use still has GF accreditation, so ring in advance or look for the symbol displayed in the restaurant. If you can’t see it then it’s best ask to be sure they still carry the accreditation.

For more information on eating out gluten free please go to https://www.coeliac.org.uk/information-and-support/your-gluten-free-hub/venue-guide/

If you or a loved one has had food poisoning from a commercial outlet we may be able to help you. Please feel free to get in contact and we’ll give you a quick and fair assessment of whether you can make a claim for compensation. You can ring us on 01535 958778 or fill in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you asap.

Sixth death in Listeria NHS outbreak

A sixth patient in an NHS hospital has died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches supplied by the Good Food Chain.

Public Health England confirmed this is one of nine cases they had previously identified. This person became sick at Weston Sussex Hospital NHS Trust.

Dr Maggie Davies, of the Trust, said: “Patient safety is always our absolute priority. As soon as we were informed we may have received contaminated chicken sandwiches from the Good Food Chain we removed all products from our hospitals.

“Since then, we have had no further listeriosis infections reported to us. We want to reassure our patients, visitors and staff that the risk remains very low.”

Companies cease production after Listeria outbreak

43 hospitals across England were supplied with pre-packaged sandwiches and salads by the Good Food Chain. This business was supplied with meat from North Country Cooked Meats, who have since tested positive for the Listeria responsible for the outbreak. North County Cooked Meats have also stopped production.

We need a review of hospital food production, storage and management

Concerns about the risks of food poisoning from hospital sandwiches were raise at least three years ago. Scientists in the NHS warned in 2016 about the dangers in using this kind of food. Surely after a tragedy of this scale it’s now time for a full review of the current model of food supply to hospitals?

Listeria incubation period

We commented in our last post about this very sad outbreak, that incubation times mean it is possible further cases may emerge. The incubation period is 70 days and the infected product was withdrawn on the 25th May.

If you suspect that you or anyone you know is affected please seek medical help immediately.

 

 

Natasha’s Law – tough new food allergy labelling

Restaurants and takeaways will now have to provide detailed information on food products

June 25 2019 and Natasha’s law comes into effect. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died in 2016 after eating a baguette from Pret A Manger that contained unlabelled allergens. Since then her parents have campaigned ceaselessly for tighter controls on food labelling.

Now people with food allergies can buy from a food outlet trusting the label will list any harmful allergens. Previously it wasn’t possible to be sure whether any of the 14 required allergens had been listed.

Michael Gove the Minister responsible for the law, which is called Natasha’s law in honour of the teenager’s death, said;

‘These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.’

Consistent and clear food labelling

Natasha’s law is ‘probably the most momentous change in food labelling in this country for a very, very long time.’ Said Natasha’s father, Nadin Ednan-Laperouse.

Nadim went on to say ‘Our mantra was to bring the light on what is in the dark. It’s about being honest and telling the truth. Food labelling needs to be clear – honest.’

‘Loophole’ in previous food labelling law now removed

Since 2014 it has been mandatory to label prepared foods with 14 allergens and all ingredients. But small businesses such as local sandwich shops were exempted as this was seen as potentially too onerous. However Natasha’s father, Nadin said in an interview for Radio 4’s flagship news programme ‘Today’ that large businesses, such as Pret A Manger, were using this to avoid fully labelling food prepared in their premises.

Allergy UK chief executive Carla Jones also welcomed the announcement, saying the national charity was ‘delighted’ with the legislation.

O’Neill Injury Solicitors are one of the foremost specialist food and gluten intolerance solicitors in the UK. Their special interest in this field comes from the principal Solicitor’s first hand family experience of gluten poisoning.

If you have any concerns about a possible food poisoning or allergen incident then please contact us for a free, confidential discussion, you can call us on 01535 958778, email us or use the form on this page.

Three patients dead after Listeria Outbreak in Hospitals

Three deaths and three more people seriously ill from eating chicken salad sandwiches in Hospitals in Manchester and Liverpool.

The affected sandwiches are no longer being produced. The Good Food Chain supplied the sandwiches and has voluntarily ceased production. North Country Cooked Meats supplied the meat for the sandwiches. They have also stopped production.

NHS warned 3 years ago about dangers of pre-packed sandwiches

Concerns about the risks of contamination in hospital sandwiches were raised in 2016. Food scientist warned that sandwiches are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. This is because sandwiches can be left on trolleys in warm rooms before being served, and also can sometimes be given out past their use-by date.

Numbers infected with Listeriosis may still rise

The incubation time for Listeriosis is up to 70 days. The sandwiches and salads linked to the outbreak were withdrawn on May 25. This means more cases of infection may still emerge.

The sandwiches were also supplied to other outlets such as shops, sporting venues, businesses and universities.

Watch out for these signs of Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a very rare illness. It tends to be harmless but can be serious for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems. In the most serious cases it can be life threatening. Symptoms can appear similar to flu and may include;

  • A high temperature
  • Muscular aches or pains
  • Chills
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Diarrhoea

If you suspect that you or anyone you know is affected seek medical help immediately

If you have any concerns about a possible food poisoning or allergen incident then please contact us for a free, confidential discussion, you can call us on 01535 958778, email us or use the form on this page.

This article is based upon reports in many of the main national newspapers. It is written in good faith, but O’Neill Injury Solicitors can’t vouch for any information in this article. If you have any concerns about any issues raised in this article please take advice from an appropriate authority as soon as possible.