Western Sussex confirms Listeria cases
Two of the cases of Listeria infection Public Health England (PHE) believes are linked to pre-packed chicken sandwiches supplied to hospitals by the Good Food Chain have been confirmed as involving patients at Western Sussex – one at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester and one at Worthing Hospital.
PHE informed the trust it had identified the second case on Friday (June 14). Both the patients affected displayed only mild symptoms of the infection and have been treated appropriately.
Western Sussex was one of 43 hospital trusts across England supplied with pre-packed sandwiches and salads by the Good Food Chain.
The company alerted the trust to concerns relating to its chicken sandwiches on May 25 and we immediately withdrew all Good Food Chain products containing chicken from our patient catering service and the League of Friends shop at Worthing Hospital.
The next day, we removed all the company’s products on receiving confirmation from PHE that the concern related to Listeria.
No other food outlets, shops or restaurants in any of our hospitals stocked products from this supplier.
PHE has since been analysing known cases of Listeria recorded over the past two months and has now identified nine cases as being part of this outbreak nationally.
However, it has also advised that any risk to the public is low. To date, no cases of Listeria linked to the outbreak have been confirmed outside of hospitals.
Western Sussex Hospitals’ Chief Nurse and Director for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr Maggie Davies, said: “Listeriosis – which is the infection caused by Listeria bacteria – is rare and for most healthy people it goes unnoticed or there are mild symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea that usually last a short time without the need for treatment.
“Pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions can be susceptible to more serious complications, but Public Health England advises that the risk to the public is low and that people should only seek medical attention if they develop symptoms.”
More information about Listeria is available from www.nhs.uk/conditions/listeriosis/.
Further information from Public Health England regarding this issue is available here.