Specialist lawyers have been contacted by family members of a person affected by the E.coli outbreak linked to a butcher’s shop.
Fifteen cases of illness have emerged as a result of the outbreak. Health officials say many of those affected fell ill after eating pre-cooked meats or savoury products purchased or supplied by the Robinson’s Butchers site in Billingham.
Investigations into the source of the outbreak are continuing. Anyone who bought products from the Billingham shop between June 25 and July 15 has been advised to dispose of the items.
No cases have been associated with the Robinson’s Wingate premises since control measures were introduced on Wednesday, July 15
Amandeep Dhillon, an Irwin Mitchell partner and specialist public health lawyer, said the firm had now heard first-hand accounts regarding the outbreak linked to Robinson’s Butchers in Billingham and “are beginning to make our own enquiries in relation to the problems.”
“It is vital that Public Heath England and the local environmental health authorities continue to work swiftly to determine the source of the outbreak.”
Amandeep said it was clearly in the public’s interest to identify the cause as soon as possible so further steps can be taken to mitigate the risk of further cases and so lessons can be learned to help to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.”
Amandeep added: “The seriousness of E.coli cannot be underestimated, as we have seen numerous cases where victims require care from family and friends as well as significant time off work to try and recover from such problems. In addition, those affected can also develop long-term health problems which can affect them for the rest of their lives.
“This outbreak is, unfortunately, just the latest in a long line of outbreaks which have occurred in the UK in recent months.
“All of these are very worrying and it is clear that steps should be taken to assess each and every case to determine if any new approach can be taken to reduce the risks faced by the general public.”