News item

Food safety experts reassure the public over E.coli fears

Picture of mixed saladThe food safety team at North East Lincolnshire Council is reassuring the public following media coverage of the current food poisoning outbreak occurring in Germany.

Since the second week of May, there have been reports of hundreds of people suffering from E.coli food poisoning, with a small number of people reported to have died. Many more people are suspected to have bloody diarrhoea, which can be serious, or milder forms of the infection.

Although there have been three reported cases in the UK of the usually rare strain of E.coli (0104), there is currently no evidence that any affected cucumbers have been distributed to the UK. Most of the few cases reported outside Germany concern either travelling German nationals or people who had recently visited Germany.

Anyone travelling to Germany is advised to follow the advice from the German authorities. In addition, returning travellers with illnesses including bloody diarrhoea should seek urgent medical attention and make sure they mention any recent travel history.

Julie Moody, principal environmental health officer at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: 'We are keeping a close watch for potential cases particularly in those with a recent travel history to Germany. While the risk of infection in this country currently remains low, it is worth reminding people of the need to wash cucumbers and any other salad item or fruit before you eat them in order to remove germs that might be on the outside.

'We are keeping a close watch for potential cases, particularly in those with a recent travel history to Germany.  While the risk of infection in this country currently remains low it is worth reminding people of the need to wash fruit and salad items before you eat them in order to remove germs that might be on the outside.'