Food poisoning leaves 90 ill

PUBLIC HEALTH officials were hoping last night that a serious outbreak of salmonella food poisoning has been isolated and contained.

More than 90 people have fallen ill, of whom 10 are confirmed to be infected with salmonella. The outbreak has been traced to the Oakwood Deli in Southgate, Enfield, north London.

An Enfield council spokesman confirmed that 90 per cent of those who have fallen ill were confirmed to have eaten chopped liver bought from the shop. The delicatessen also distributes goods to other independent outlets in north London, Hertfordshire and Essex, and an appeal was issued yesterday for people who had bought chopped liver in those areas not to eat it until they checked who had produced it.

The council spokesman said: "We are still concerned that some people who bought the liver might still have it in their fridge." He said it was too early to say whether more people had fallen ill since yesterday, but test results would soon be available to confirm how many sufferers had definitely contracted salmonella poisoning.

The delicatessen was closed last week under emergency powers and will not be allowed to reopen until public health officers are happy about its sanitation standards.

Salmonella, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, can normally be treated with antibiotics, but is occasionally fatal for vulnerable sufferers. No one has died in this outbreak, but a small number have been hospitalised.

It is one of the largest food poisoning cases linked to a shop since the E. coli outbreak at a butcher's shop in Scotland two years ago.

Customers of Oakwood Deli were stunned by news of its closure. "I bought my lunch there every day for two years," said one local man yesterday.

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