Inquest opened into man's death as probe continues into salmonella outbreak
A coroner has opened an inquest into the death of a football coach as investigations continue into an outbreak of salmonella.
Stewart Graham, 66, was found dead at his home in Shotton Colliery at around the time health chiefs issued a warning about a feared salmonella outbreak.
People were advised by Public Health England to throw out cold pre-cooked meats and savouries bought from Chapman and Sons butchers in Blackhall Colliery.
An investigation into the outbreak is still ongoing and a full report is being prepared.
A post mortem examination, carried out by Home Office pathologist Dr Lakshmi Nair, found the cause of death to be sepsis, bacterial gastroenteritis from salmonella infection and ischaemic heart disease.
The inquest into the death of Sunderland born Mr Graham was told he had bought some meat and goods from the butchers, but it is not known whether he had eaten food from the shop.
Coroner’s officer Susan Rooney's opening statement states: “I understand the circumstances to be that Stewart had been complaining of sweating, having the shakes and diarrhoea. He was found deceased at home on 21/02/2018.
“Stewart had bought some meat and goods from Chapmans’ butchers at Blackhall, where there had been some cases of salmonella.
“It is uncertain whether or not Stewart had actually eaten any food from the there.
"A post-mortem took place by Dr Nair. The cause of death is sepsis, bacterial gastroenteritis from salmonella infection, cyctectomy from bladder carcinoma, ischaemic heart disease."
The hearing was adjourned a review is expected to take place on August 30.
In late February and early March there were 19 confirmed and three suspected cases of salmonella reported, with some of the cases known to have been people living in the Horden, Blackhall Colliery, Hesleden and Hartlepool areas.
A spokesman for Public Health England: “A full report into the outbreak is now being prepared and will be shared with the relevant parties in due course.
"We are aware of the investigation by the Coroner’s office but are unable to comment further at this stage."
Chapman and Sons closed in March although a consultant in health protection and chair of the outbreak control team, Dr Deb Wilson, said the decision was solely made by the butchers.
She said at the time: "The decision to close the premises is one that has been taken solely by Chapman and Sons and was not advised or required by the outbreak control team."