A further three cases of E.coli 0157 infection have been reported in connection with an outbreak at an East Durham butcher’s.
One of those reported to the health officials is currently in hospital after eating food from Robinsons’ shops in Wingate or Billingham before July 15.
This brings the total number of people affected to 15, of which six are in hospital.
Four of the people in hospital are children aged between 8–14 years-old. The other two people in hospital are adults.
Although a definite source has not yet been identified, many of the affected people are known to have eaten pre-cooked meats or savoury products bought or supplied by Robinson’s butcher and caterer who has the two shops.
All 15 cases were acquired before control measures were introduced at Robinson’s butcher shops on July 15.
Health protection experts from Public Health England and environmental health teams from both County Durham and Stockton councils are continuing to investigate all possible sources of the outbreak.
As a precaution local residents in the south of County Durham and North Tees have been advised not to eat any cold pre-cooked meats or savouries bought from Robinson’s butchers and caterers in Wingate and Billingham, between 25 June and 15 July, and to throw out any they may still have in their fridge or freezers.
E.coli O157 is a serious bacterial infection that can cause severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea and kidney failure.
Consultant in health protection and chairman of the outbreak control team Dr Deb Wilson said: “The exact source of this outbreak is not yet known. However, many of the affected people are known to have eaten cooked meat products bought or supplied by Robinson’s.
“The owner and staff of Robinson’s butchers and caterers are co-operating fully with the investigation. They conducted a deep clean of both premises and discarded all ready to eat food prepared before 16 July 2015.”
Anyone who has eaten cooked meats bought between June 25 and July 15 from Robinson’s butchers and feels unwell should contact their GP.