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All NHS Meals Recalled Over ‘Listeria Outbreak’

When key medical equipment in a hospital is found to be faulty or malfunctioning, a hire service really can save the day. However, the crisis facing the NHS at the moment comes in the form of its patient catering service, after five deaths linked to the bacteria listeria have been reported, according to New Scientist.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said that he was incredibly concerned after reports that the deaths were linked to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads from a supplier. Not only was the MP shocked at the deaths, he also ordered a ‘root and branch’ review of food in hospitals, saying: “I […] strongly believe that we need a radical new approach to the food that is served in our NHS.”

On the 7th June, it was initially reported that six people who were already seriously ill had contracted suspected listeria infections, and that three of them died as a result. According to Public Health England, the infection was traced back to The Good Food Chain, and all food suspected of containing the bacteria has been recalled. The meat provider to this company has also halted production.

Two more patients had since died, however, it is believed that these cases occurred before the products were recalled initially.

Illness can take up to 70 days to develop after coming into contact with listeria, so it’s unknown if any more cases will be reported. The bacteria is particularly risky for young children, the elderly and pregnant women, and the bacteria can grow well in food, especially soft cheese and smoked fish.


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