Sixth person dies from listeria outbreak

A sixth person has died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to a listeria outbreak, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

The latest death was one of the nine cases previously confirmed and PHE said there have been no new cases linked to the outbreak.

The patient acquired listeriosis from Good Food Chain products while at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, PHE said.

The other deaths occurred at four different hospital trusts – two at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, one at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool, one at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and the fifth at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

There is another case at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one case at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and one at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which have not been fatal.

PHE said it was testing all samples of listeria on an ongoing basis. It has tested 34 samples of listeria and said that none are linked to the outbreak.

The Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS trusts across the UK as well as one independent provider, voluntarily ceased production and PHE said the investigation into the outbreak is continuing.

The business was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which has since tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria and also stopped production.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people.

However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

PHE insisted the health risk to the public remains low.

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