A butcher’s shop is at the centre of an E.coli probe after several cases have been confirmed, with three children receiving treatment in hospital.
People are being advised not to eat any cold pre-cooked meats and savouries bought since June 25 from Robinson’s butchers and caterers in Wingate and Billingham.
Several of the affected people are known to have eaten cooked meats.Dr Deb Wilson
The precautionary advice has been issued after seven confirmed cases of E.coli 0157 and one suspected case has been reported in the past week in both adults and children. Several of them are known to have eaten cooked meat products bought or supplied by the Robinson’s butcher shops in either Wingate or Billingham.
Two of the youngsters are currently receiving treatment in hospital.
E.coli O157 is a serious bacterial infection that can cause severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure.
Consultant in health protection and chair of the outbreak control team Dr Deb Wilson said: “The source of this outbreak is not yet known. However, several of the affected people are known to have eaten cooked meat products bought or supplied by Robinson’s butcher shops in either Wingate or Billingham.
“Although our investigation is at a very early stage, as a precautionary measure we are advising anyone who has bought cooked meats or savouries from Robinson’s butchers in Wingate or Billingham since June 25, and still has them in their fridge or freezer, not to eat them and to throw them out immediately.
“The owner and staff of Robinson’s butchers and caterers are co-operating fully with the investigation and have agreed to discard all ready to eat food from both premises while the investigation continues.
“The premises have also agreed to carry out a deep clean of both premises and reinforce good hygiene practices.”
The premises remains open while investigations are ongoing. No one from Robinson’s was available for comment. Experts from Durham and Stockton councils are working with Public Health England.