Wash your salad advice following two deaths from E-Coli infection

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on
Advice following deaths from e-coli

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On hot summer days, a lunch time salad is ideal. I particularly love rocket and spinach leaves. However, after reading on BBC Health about the outbreak of E-Coli infections following eating salad leaves; I will be washing mine carefully unless they are washed and ready to eat.

The exact cause has not been identified, but Public Health England believe it is related to rocket from the Mediterranean. Some retailers are being advised not to add such leaves to their mixed salads in store.

E. coli O157 is found in the gut and faeces of many animals, particularly cattle, and can contaminate food and water. The infection can cause bloody diarrhoea and abdominal pain, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. The infection can last for at least 7 days. In children it can be more severe. It is important to keep hydrated and rehydration fluids may be useful as they replace important minerals such as sodium which are lost with the diarrhoea and vomiting.

Tips for avoiding E-Coli:

  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet, before and after handling food, and after handling animals
  • Remove any loose soil before storing vegetables and salads
  • Wash all vegetables and fruits that will be eaten raw
  • Store and prepare raw meat and unwashed vegetables away from ready-to-eat foods
  • Do not prepare raw vegetables with utensils that have also been used for raw meat
  • Cook all minced meat products, such as burgers and meatballs, thoroughly
  • People who have been ill should not prepare food for others for at least 48 hours after they have recovered.

I will certainly take more care about washing salad from now on, but still look forward to my crisp, green salad leaves with my lunch.

Although this infection appears to be in the UK; If you have suffered illness or food poisoning while abroad on business or holiday which you believe was caused by poor hygiene or food handling by an airline, cruise ship, hotel, or other holiday provider, our dedicated Travel Claims team has the expertise to investigate your case and make a claim for compensation against those responsible.

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If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk

About the Author

Photograph of Patricia Wakeford

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
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023 8085 7310

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