Two children in hospital following an E. coli outbreak at UK nursery

Specialists from Public Health England and environmental health officers are investigating the cases of E. coli O157, which are linked to Little Brook Childrens Nursery, in Great Harwood.

nurseryTesting is being carried out on staff and children who may have come into contact with the bacteria, and children have been asked to remain at home until they have tested negative.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England said that although staff were at the nursery yesterday, it will effectively be closed to children until those given the all clear begin to return.

‘Poor hygiene is totally inexcusable especially when selling food’ UK ‘Cockroach takeaway’ closed

Four eateries closed in Ealing after being issued with emergency prohibition notices, closing them immediately, until officers were satisfied extensive pest control cleaning had taken place.

mib.cockroachA West Ealing takeaway was closed and ordered to pay costs of more than £600 by Ealing Magistrates’ Court after a cockroach was found in a customer’s meal.
Ealing has more food businesses than any other outer London borough and is one of the most proactive greater London councils in terms of prosecuting food outlets who endanger the public.

Pan Pizza and China Garden at 177, Uxbridge Road, West Ealing was among four eateries in the borough temporarily closed by Ealing Council food hygiene officers in September, due to infestations and poor cleaning. The takeaway was ordered to pay the council’s legal expenses of £611 on Thursday, 2 October.
The businesses were issued with emergency prohibition notices, closing them immediately, until officers were satisfied extensive pest control cleaning had taken place.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for community services and safety, Councillor Ranjit Dheer said:  “Poor hygiene is totally inexcusable especially when you’re in the business of selling food to the general public. I really don’t know how the owners of these businesses thought they could get away with it.” 

2 sick with E.coli O157 in UK linked to raw milk

The UK Food Standards Agency reports Barton Farm Dairy (Kentisbury, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 4NQ) is recalling its raw cow’s drinking milk due to a potential link to two cases of E.coli O157 infection. If you have bought this product, do not consume it. The FSA has issued a Product Recall Information Notice. details

The product being recalled is:

Barton Farm Dairy raw cow’s drinking milk

Size: All sizes

Barton Farm Dairy is recalling the above product. Product recall notices will be issued to the business’s customers and on the website, explaining why the recall is happening and what they can do if they have bought an affected product.

If you have bought any of the above products, do not consume them. Instead, contact the Barton Farm Dairy by calling 01271 882283 or emailing for further advice.

UK grocer rated zero for food hygiene

A grocer’s shop in Aldershot has been given a slap on the wrists after failing a handful of food hygiene and safety standards.

phewa1Phewa Stores in Victoria Road was issued two cautions last Thursday (September 18) following an inspection by Rushmoor Borough Council earlier this month.

The first caution relates to seven separate food safety offences and the second to one health and safety failing.

Oasis Trading Impex Ltd, one of the owners of the company, has accepted the cautions and admitted the offences on behalf of Phewa.

Council inspectors have since revisited the premises and noted improvements in general standards of hygiene.

But an unannounced inspection on September 3 led to the store racking up a catalogue of offences, enough to earn Phewa the ignominious honour of a zero food hygiene rating in the Food Standards Agency’s national rating scheme.

Offences included a lack of effective cleaning and disinfection of equipment, particularly at the store’s butcher’s counter.

Food handlers were found to be not suitably trained in food hygiene matters and demonstrated their own poor personal hygiene.

The shop also failed to identify where some items of food had been sourced from and to implement various mandatory food safety management systems.

Inspectors also noted some food hygiene issues raised at previous inspections had reoccurred.


Social media rules: owners of Chicken Cottage in UK fined after customer snaps rat in shop

A fast-food restaurant has been fined for a number of food hygiene failings after a customer took a picture of a rat on their premises.

chiken.cottagArun District Council has successfully prosecuted Bethel Catering UK Ltd, for food safety offences found at Chicken Cottage in East Street, Littlehampton.

Two Environmental Health Officers inspected the take-away last August following a call from a member of the public who had taken a photo of a rat she had seen inside the shop early that morning.

During this inspection the officers found clear evidence of a rat infestation both inside and outside the premises and the director of the company, Mr Somasundaram agreed to close the premises due to an imminent risk to public health.

UK’s FSA was supposed to be independent; agrees to name stores that sell chicken contaminated with campy

The food safety watchdog is to name and shame supermarkets that sell chicken contaminated with a dangerous food-poisoning bug after the scandal was exposed by the Daily Mail.

borat.chickenThe UK Food Standards Agency has been testing chicken sold in the high street for campylobacter, which is associated with 100 deaths a year and 280,000 food-poisoning cases.

In August, officials said the names of shops involved should be kept secret until at least next summer following lobbying from stores, producers and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs over fears the news would damage the industry.

But following pressure from the Mail, academics and consumer groups, it has agreed to identify them.

The results will reveal which of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, the Co-op, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer has the highest contamination levels.

The FSA began quarterly surveys of chicken sold on the high street in February to establish the levels of campylobacter. The first revealed that 59 per cent of 853 birds tested positive for the bug.

Some 16 per cent of the roasting birds tested positive for the highest level of contamination.

roast.chicken.june.10One in 20 sealed packs of chicken were even contaminated on the outside, suggesting that simply picking them up created a risk.

The FSA said it would be unfair to name the stores because its sample sizes were small and the public would not understand the results.

This from the same agency that thinks the public is too stupid to use a meat thermometer, so goes with piping hot.

Erik Millstone, professor of science policy at the University of Sussex, said: ‘The FSA was supposed to be independent of commercial and political pressures. Recent events show that in practice the FSA was blown off course by industrial and political pressures.’

26 sick; Real China Salmonella victims take legal action in UK

Victims of a recent Salmonella outbreak which has been linked to a Chinese restaurant in Hampshire “want answers”. total of 26 people who were affected by the illness, many of whom ate at the Real China restaurant in Eastleigh, are taking legal action.

The restaurant closed voluntarily for a week on 24 July.

A spokesman for Real China said a full inspection had been done and there was no obvious source of the outbreak.

As precautionary measures restaurant staff have been retrained in cleaning procedures and they will use only British eggs rather than a mix of Spanish and British eggs.

Almost 250 people in the UK were affected and Public Health England is investigating.

It is thought the outbreak originated from a single egg source and people in Europe have also been affected.

UK supermarkets fail inspections

Tesco supermarkets prove to be the worst for hygiene after it was revealed that 29 of its stores failed inspections aimed to protect customers from food poisoning.

tesco.foodIt was one of five big supermarket chains that saw stores fall foul of basic checks from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), according to figures from between 2012 and 2013 that were published in the Sun.

Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi also had stores that failed to meet expected standards, according to the data.

Lidl and Waitrose were the only two ‘big seven’ chains which saw all stores pass.

The FSA reviewed hygiene practices at a total of 11,106 supermarkets in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of that number, 510 did not maintain standard levels of hygiene.

‘Our worst nightmare coming to life’: UK family contracted E. coli O157 on holiday to Spain with toddler daughter left in critical condition

A family of four fell ‘horrifically’ ill during a Spanish summer holiday which left two young daughters in hospital, one in critical condition.

e.coli.spain.aug.14The Smith family, from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, travelled to the 3* Azuline, Coral Beach resort in Ibiza in June, but say the trip turned into every family’s ‘worst nightmare’ when all of them fell ill and two-year-old daughters Olivia and Hannah were hospitalised for days as they battled E. coli. 

Dad, Stuart, who was made redundant on his return to work, was also diagnosed with having contracted the bacteria.

The toddlers have now been diagnosed with hemolytic uraemia syndrome – a condition related to E. coli which can cause kidney failure due to a breakdown of red blood cells – and distraught parents Stuart and Nicola have instructed expert international illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what caused them to fall ill and to help secure their daughters funds for on-going treatment.

To make matters worse, Stuart was made redundant on his return from his job as a production worker in manufacturing, as he took time off to care for his daughters, which affected his redundancy score negatively. 

Stuart, Olivia and Hannah were all diagnosed as suffering with E. coli O157 on their return and the girls symptoms were so severe that they were admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle. 

Olivia, who was two in July, was discharged after six days but Hannah, who turns three at the end of the month, spent 21 days in hospital and needed dialysis to help her kidneys function properly.

Stuart, 38, said: ‘The last few weeks have been like our worst nightmare coming to life as we have had to watch our little girls fight for their lives in hospital.

‘The last thing we imagined was that we would all fall so horrifically ill. We did notice that some of the food that should have been chilled was left at room temperature and some of it was undercooked, but we tried to be as careful as possible.

‘The worst thing now is not knowing whether the girls have been left with permanent kidney problems as a result. We just cannot believe how going on holiday has turned all of our lives upside down.

247 sick in UK and it is an egg problem: Salmonella outbreak across Europe may be caused by single batch of eggs

The national salmonella outbreak which has struck down nearly 250 people across Britain could be traced back to a single source of eggs, health investigators have said.

egg.dirty.feb.12Earlier this month, three hospital patients affected by the salmonella outbreak in Birmingham died. But the infection was not cited as a contributing factor on the death certificates of two patients and the coroner’s report on the third patient has not yet been delivered.

Health officials said there have been 158 cases reported in the past week alone – since August 15 – but said these are not new infections but historical cases and that the reporting of new infections had in fact slowed down.

The UK Food Standards Agency decided to remind caterers to:

• keep eggs away from other foods, when they are still in the shell and when you have cracked them open;

• don’t use damaged or dirty eggs;

• be careful not to splash raw egg onto other foods, surfaces or dishes;

• if you are breaking eggs to use later (sometimes called ‘pooling’) keep the liquid egg in the fridge and take out small amounts as needed;

• use all ‘pooled’ liquid egg on the same day and don’t add new eggs to top it up;

• cook eggs and foods containing eggs thoroughly (piping hot?);

• use pasteurised egg for raw or lightly cooked foods;

• always wash and dry your hands thoroughly after touching eggs or working with them;

• clean food areas, dishes and utensils thoroughly and regularly, using warm soapy water, after working with eggs (doesn’t have to be warm, just soapy); and,

• serve egg dishes straight away, or cool them quickly and keep chilled

In Denmark, food authority Fødevarestyrelsen has ordered Hedegaard Foods to recall eggs and a number of egg-based products following the discovery of Salmonella in some of its goods. 

According to a Fødevarestyrelsen statement, the company found the bacteria in cages during its own inspections at a farm in Grindsted in central Jutland.

Pasteurised egg products made by the company are also being recalled as Salmonella can survive pasteurisation.