Robinson’s Butchers ‘E.coli Outbreak’: Lawyers Join Forces With Expert To Call For Tough Action

Demand For Answers And Work To Improve Safety Standards

06.08.2015

Specialist Public Health lawyers acting for a victim of an E.coli outbreak which has been linked to a Robinson’s Butchers outlet in Billingham have joined forces with a leading microbiologist to call for tough action to be taken to reduce the risk of such problems emerging again.
 
Irwin Mitchell has launched its own investigations after being instructed in relation to the problems which have affected 15 people in total, with officials confirming many fell ill after eating pre-cooked or savoury products from the butcher.
 
Six of the victims are known to be children, with reports this week revealing how an 11-year-old girl was in a critical condition in hospital after suffering kidney failure. The butchers, which supplied products to her school, is currently closed.
 
Following the latest shocking developments, Irwin Mitchell’s Public Health lawyers have joined with Professor Hugh Pennington to call for vital lessons to be learnt from the outbreak in order to try and prevent the same issues occurring again in the future.
 
Professor Pennington, an Emeritus Professor in Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, is one of the UK’s leading experts on microbiological issues and has chaired a number of government inquiries related to illness outbreaks and food safety.

Expert Opinion
“Through our work on numerous cases related to E.coli outbreaks in the UK and abroad, we have seen just how serious such problems can be.

“The latest information released starkly demonstrates why the dangers of E.coli cannot be underestimated. This is about more than needing days off school and work to recover, it has in some cases become a matter of life and death.

“We have commenced our own enquiries into the issues which our client has faced and are determined to help them get access to the care and support they need following these problems.

“However, in the longer term it is vital that the serious safety questions raised by this outbreak are tackled and, ultimately, standards are improved.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Reacting to the Teesside outbreak, Professor Hugh Pennington, said: “The dramatic stories emerging regarding this outbreak are a powerful reminder of the nastiness of this bacterium, as well as our inability to prevent the devastating complications which can arise from such infections.
 
“This outbreak shows that E.coli O157 is out there and is clearly challenging our food safety systems – and the only clear approach to stopping this from happening is to take clear steps to prevent infection in the first place.
 
“Recent history is littered with other E.coli outbreaks with the likes of Scotland in 1996 and south Wales in 2005 springing to mind. The concern is that while we may be good at learning lessons, we seem to be just as good at forgetting them.”