Public Health England (PHE) has warned people to make sure they wash all salad leaves before eating
Public Health England (PHE) has warned people to make sure they wash all salad leaves before eating

E.coli outbreak could be linked to salad leaves, health officials warn

More than 100 people in the UK are known to have caught the E. coli O157 infection since the end of June

May Bulman
Wednesday 06 July 2016 20:16
Comments

An outbreak of the bacterial infection E. coli could be caused by salad leaves, public health officials have warned.

There have so far been 102 reported cases of the E. coli O157 virus in England, six in Wales and one in Scotland since the end of June.

Public Health England (PHE) has warned people to make sure they wash all salad leaves before eating and put in place "heightened surveillance" across the country.

The investigations show many of the people affected ate leaves such as rocket before getting sick.

Dr Isabel Oliver, director of PHE’s field epidemiology service, said: "Currently, the source of the outbreak is not confirmed and this remains under investigation.

"However, our preliminary investigations have indicated that several of the affected individuals ate salad items including rocket prior to becoming unwell.

"We urge people to remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and thoroughly wash all vegetables (including salads) that will be eaten raw unless they have been pre-prepared and are specifically labelled ‘ready to eat’.

PHE, working alongside the Food Standards Agency, will provide any further necessary public health advice as investigations continue.

Dr Oliver added: “It’s also vital to wash hands thoroughly using soap and water after using the toilet, before and after handling food and after contact with any animals and pets, including farm animals.

“Small children should also be supervised when washing their hands."

E. coli can cause a range of symptoms, including diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

The bacteria is found in the gut and faeces of many animals, particularly cattle, and can contaminate food and water.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in