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Sainsbury’s Watercress Recall Over E.coli Concern ‘Puts Safety In Spotlight’

Lawyers Demand Lessons Are Learned Over Illness Problems


By Rob Dixon

Illness experts representing thousands of victims of outbreaks in the UK and abroad are calling for safety lessons to be learned following concerning reports that Sainsbury’s is recalling bagged watercress and salads containing watercress over E.coli concerns.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a notice that the following products are being recalled due to possible links to an outbreak of E.coli O157 which has so far affected 15 people:

• by Sainsbury’s Watercress Leaves, 75g
• by Sainsbury’s Watercress, Spinach and Rocket salad, 100g
• by Sainsbury’s Watercress, Spinach and Rocket, 170g
• by Sainsbury’s Watercress twin pack, 2 x 35g
• So Organic Watercress, 75g
• So Organic Watercress, Spinach and Rocket, 100g

Sainsbury’s is also advising people not to consume the products and return them for a full refund, whilst also informing the FSA that it is testing all of its affected lines. No trace of E.coli O157 has yet been detected.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist illness lawyers act for victims of food poisoning outbreaks across the globe, including victims who have gone on to suffer long-term health problems as a result of suffering from E.coli.

Suki Chhokar, a Partner and expert in such cases based at the law firm’s Birmingham office, said: “It is very welcome to see that Sainsbury’s and the FSA have taken this important step towards raising awareness of this issue.

“It is vital that investigations carried out in conjunction with Public Health England and local authorities get to the bottom of this E.coli outbreak as soon as possible, assessing all potential sources and ensuring that no more people are affected by these problems.

“We have seen on numerous occasions the awful consequences that illnesses of this nature can have on so many lives, with this particular infection often being aggressive and potentially leading to very serious health complications. Because of this, all of the affected victims will be frustrated and desperate for answers as to how the issue developed.

“The hygiene regulations that exist are designed to ensure the risk of such issues emerging is significantly decreased, so it is likely in the aftermath of this that attention will turn to whether the current measures were being followed and, equally, are robust enough to prevent such illness problems.“

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