Health Secretary orders NHS food overview after deaths

by Lionel Casey

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered a “root and branch” evaluation of NHS meals after extra patient deaths were connected to a listeria outbreak. Mr. Hancock stated he changed into “notably worried” after it confirmed the number of fatalities related to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads supplied by The Good Food Chain had risen from 3 to five.

The affected products have been withdrawn from hospitals, and Public Health England (PHE) said evidence indicated all the deaths had taken place before the items were eliminated from circulation on 25 May.

PHE said investigations into the outbreak are being performed together with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Mr. Hancock said: “I have been relatively worried about the aid of this difficulty and strongly trust that we need a thorough new method to the food this is served in our NHS.

“Staff, patients, and families deserve so much higher – our NHS has to be at the vanguard of assisting humans in making healthful choices.

“I even have instructed the NHS to conduct a root and branch overview of clinic food.”

Listeria infection can purpose moderate signs and symptoms in pregnant women and people with a susceptible immune gadget.

The first three showed sufferers have been at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.

It is not but acknowledged where the cutting-edge two sufferers were receiving remedy. However, PHE said there are seven trusts throughout the use of handling listeria cases.

The Good Food Chain, which provided forty-three NHS trusts across the UK, voluntarily ceased manufacturing.

The commercial enterprise was provided with meat produced using North Country Cooked Meats, which has when you consider that examined fine for the outbreak stress of listeria and stopped manufacturing.

Dr. Nick Phin, deputy director on the countrywide infection carrier at PHE, said: “To date, there were no sufferers linked to this incident out of doors healthcare firms, but we hold to analyze.”

He advised Sky News: “We have diagnosed maximum of the patients that we assume have been affected.

“The outbreak has been pinpointed to this particular brand of sandwiches. They are not to be had, and consequently, the chance sincerely has been addressed.”

Acknowledging more excellent instances may want to come to light, he stated: “It’s pretty feasible. The incubation duration for listeria may be up to 70 days and given we know that human beings might have been exposed perhaps or three weeks ago when we must look ahead to the disease to run its direction.

“Therefore, it’s far pretty viable we may see one or two instances that have been exposed before the motion become taken.”

Dr. Phin brought: “Most human beings will present within three weeks. As I say, there’s a long tail so that it may be longer for one or human beings.

“Given all the sandwiches have been withdrawn on 25 May, we are nicely into the incubation period, and that ought to be extremely reassuring for those involved.”

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