NHS Lanarkshire linked to hospital food outbreak

Bosses say risk is low after Hairmyres hospital connected to company supplying potentially infected sandwiches

Tuesday 18th June 2019

NHS Lanarkshire has confirmed that University Hospital Hairmyres had been previously supplied with potentially infected sandwiches and salads produced by a company at the centre of a listeriosis outbreak in English hospitals.

Lanarkshire health board says the chance of any patients being affected is “low”.

Nine cases of the bacterial infection, leading to five deaths, have been identified at seven English hospitals.

Hairmyres is the only hospital north of the border supplied by the Good Food Chain company that produced the pre-packaged food.

“Listeria infection in healthy people is usually either unnoticed or may cause very mild symptoms…However, it can have more serious consequences for young infants, older people, people with pre-existing health conditions, including people who have a suppressed immune system, and pregnant women,” said Dr John Logan, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Lanarkshire.

People who may have consumed the pre-packed food produced by the Good Food Chain company are being advised to seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms.

Dr Logan said: “As soon as we were alerted to the situation in England, we immediately took steps to prevent people from consuming potentially affected sandwiches, withdrawing products supplied by the Good Food Chain company. We also informed hospital clinicians and GPs of the situation, highlighting appropriate investigations to undertake if anyone were to develop possible symptoms or signs of Listeriosis infection.

“No cases of Listeriosis linked to this outbreak have been identified in Scotland and the chance of Listeriosis occurring in Lanarkshire residents is low.

“Those who may have been exposed to a risk of infection and who may develop symptoms are University Hospital Hairmyres inpatients, or people who visited the hospital canteen, who ate sandwiches or salads produced by the Good Food Chain company during April, May or the first five days of June.”