Three Britons dead after listeria outbreak

Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool is one of the two hospitals where patients have died

Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool is one of the two hospitals where patients have died

"The cases of listeria infection were in six seriously ill hospital patients in England".

Three hospital patients have died in England following an outbreak of listeria linked to pre-packed sandwiches, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

The Good Food Chain company, based in central England, has stopped production while an investigation takes place, the state health agency said.

The company said its "products are handmade, using fresh ingredients and has been accredited by industry standard rewards".

Three Britons have died of food poisoning after eating pre-packaged sandwiches, United Kingdom health authorities said Friday, stressing that the risk to the wider public remained "low".

Nick Phin, the deputy head of the National Infection Service, said no other cases have been identified "and any risk to the public is low".

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The first case showed symptoms on April 25 while the most recent case was reported on May 15, a PHE spokeswoman said.

As the outbreak was identified through sequencing and only a few European Union countries use this technique to identify Listeria, not all cases may have been identified so far and further outbreaks could continue.

"Our sympathies are with the families of those patients who have tragically passed away", said Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at the UK's Food Standards Agency. North Country Quality Foods has also voluntarily ceased production.

The Good Food Chain had been supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats which subsequently produced a positive test result for the outbreak strain of listeria and has since voluntarily ceased production while the investigation continues.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people. However, it can have more serious consequences for some people, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and pregnant women. "The FSA will continue to investigate how the outbreak occurred and if further steps are required to protect vulnerable groups".

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