Food Law News - UK - 1999

4 March 1999: HYGIENE - Serious Outbreak of E.Coli O157 in North Cumbria

DoH News Release (1999/0124), 4 March 1999

Serious Outbreak of E.Coli O157 in North Cumbria

So far 25 people, mostly children, have been affected by an outbreak of E.coli O157 near Cockermouth, North Cumbria, Professor Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer, said today.

Professor Donaldson said:
"This is one of the most serious foodborne illnesses to which children are particularly vulnerable. Twelve people have been admitted to West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, one of whom has been discharged. Of these, three children have been transferred to the Regional Centre in Newcastle for intensive treatment. Fourteen people are being cared for in the community.

"This is a serious outbreak but the local Outbreak Control Team has acted to contain it. The source of the outbreak is believed to be contaminated milk, possibly caused by faulty pasteurisation, from a local farm. The local authority has stopped milk processing on the farm. A Pasteurisation Order has been made requiring all milk to be pasteurised off the farm. Steps have been taken to remove stocks from circulation.

"Investigations into the cause of the problem and the extent of the outbreak are continuing. I shall be monitoring the situation closely and will receive regular updates on progress."

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