Friday, September 30, 2011

E.coli outbreak which killed one and made 250 ill was kept secret for 7 months - 30th Sept 2011

One person died and about 250 fell ill after eating E.coli-contaminated food in an outbreak British officials covered up.

It is thought the food affected was leeks and potatoes and sold in British stores including the major supermarkets.

The outbreak – which British authorities deliberately kept secret until now – lasted about seven months and is thought to have been caused by soil carrying a potentially deadly strain of the E.coli bug on the outside of vegetables.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Food Standards Agency (FSA) said about 250 people in this country – two-thirds of them women – fell ill between December and July. Of these, 74 were so ill they had to be hospitalised. Forty per cent involved youngsters under 16.

Despite the number and range of cases – which occurred across the UK – officials chose to keep quiet about a food safety threat. Health authorities are now warning the public to wash all vegetables and fruit carefully before they are eaten. Read More