Illness Lawyers Call For Urgent Action Following UK E. Coli Outbreak

The Outbreak Comes Just Months After Major Salmonella Outbreak

06.11.2014

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell representing victims of illness outbreaks in the UK and abroad have called for authorities to work quickly to determine the cause of an E. coli outbreak that is believed to have affected 85 people around the UK.

The reports come just months after a national Salmonella outbreak between June and August 2014, which affected a number of food outlets, restaurants and hospitals, and has raised concerns about the measures in place to monitor and prevent serious bacterial illnesses in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched an investigation into the outbreak, but it noted that as yet there is “no clear indication” of what linked the cases.  However all of those affected have tested positive for the same strain of E. coli and specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say it is crucial that the source is identified as soon as possible to prevent more people becoming ill.

Dr Bob Adak, head of the gastrointestinal diseases department at PHE, has told media that they have “carried out initial investigations which involved interviewing some of the affected people to look for connections that link individuals in terms of the foods that they had eaten and the places they had visited in the days before they became ill.”

PHE is collaborating with the Food Standards Agency to consider the cause of the outbreak, which may be linked to food products. It noted that 67 victims are based in England, 3 in Wales and 5 in Scotland.

A further ten secondary cases have been reported of people who came into contact with the primary cases.

Irwin Mitchell’s illness lawyers specialise in helping victims of outbreaks in the UK and abroad to gain justice regarding the problems they have faced, most notably acting for victims of a Salmonella outbreak following the Street Spice food festival in Newcastle in 2013, which affected over 300 people, as well as representing a young girl who has developed serious complications after contracting E.coli 0157 from a petting farm in Yorkshire.

Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner and leading Public Health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion
It is very serious that so many cases of E. coli have been confirmed by Public Health England and it is crucial that action is taken by health authorities to investigate the cause of these issues thoroughly and identify the cause or causes of the outbreak and any links between individual cases.

“The fact that it follows on from the nationwide Salmonella outbreak earlier this year is very concerning and we have been contacted by a significant number of people in recent months relating to illness outbreaks in the UK.

“Due to our experience in this area, we know that all of those affected by the latest outbreak will be desperate for answers and it is vital that authorities act promptly to ensure that they have the best opportunity to find them.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner