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Settlements Secured For Street Spice Festival Attendees Hit By Food Poisoning Outbreak

Our public health lawyers have secured over £400,000 for visitors to the Newcastle Street Spice Festival in 2013 who suffered from food poisoning caused by raw curry leaves.

Over 10,000 people flocked to the festival, which took place between 28th February 2013 and 2nd March 2013 at the Newcastle’s Centre For Life. More than 400 were struck by symptoms of gastric illness following the event suffering diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Irwin Mitchell has represented almost fifty of the visitors that suffered gastric symptoms after the festival. Kerry Smith, 36 from Wallsend, was one of them. “Visiting the festival on the day was an enjoyable experience but it has now become memorable for all of the wrong reasons,” said Kerry, “I am still suffering from gastric illness due to the food I ate at the festival and this has affected my lifestyle. I hope that this settlement can now help me to move forward.”

Public Health England (PHE) and Newcastle City Council (NCC) investigated the festival and found that raw curry leaves used in chutney at the festival were contaminated by a number of bacteria, including Salmonella, E.Coli and Shigella. They confirmed 29 cases of salmonella infection among the festival visitors, involving a variety of strains of the bacteria. Some people had even contracted more than one of these bacterial infections at the same time.

Public Health England stated that it was one of the UK’s largest outbreaks of food poisoning. Worryingly, it was also the first time that one of the Salmonella strains had been detected in the UK.

Our specialist food poisoning solicitors have now secured financial settlements for all the visitors we have represented since the festival. Each client received sums ranging from £1,200 to £29,000 depending on the how badly they were ill and how much of an impact it has had on their lives. In total this came to over £400,000 for everyone we represented.

Scott Russell from Westerhope attended the festival with his wife, Abigail, and their four-year-old daughter, Katie. All three fell ill shortly afterwards. Scott said: “The past three years since we attended the Street Spice Festival have been really difficult, as Abigail and I are still suffering from gastric illness. Like the many other people affected by the outbreak following the event, we are glad that our cases have been settled and we can try and put this ordeal behind us.”

Amandeep Dhillon, Partner and Head of Public Health at Irwin Mitchell oversaw the group claim:

“These settlements will finally give those who suffered with illness after attending the Newcastle Street Spice Festival some closure and they can move on with their lives.

“These cases highlight the need for informed, clear and official advice to be given to food festival organisers/chefs to ensure that all food prepared and served is fit for consumption… We are aware that the NCC had, following the outcome of their report, recommended to the Food Standards Agency that they should develop information to be circulated nationally about the preparation of curry leaves and other herbs. We hope that such guidance will further protect consumers.”

If you've suffered food poisoning due to poor hygiene standards, our personal injury lawyers could help you claim compensation. See our Food Poisoning Compensation Claims page for more information.

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