The Public Health Protection Unit (PHPU) at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is investigating an outbreak of E coli O157 in the Paisley area.
One elderly patient has died as a result of contracting the infection and two other people are seriously ill in hospital. Four other people are recovering at home. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family of the woman who has died.
The Public Health Protection Unit is working closely with Environmental Health colleagues from Renfrewshire Council, the Food Standards Agency and Health Protection Scotland to identify the source of this infection. There is no conclusive evidence yet but initial investigations have indicated that there may possibly be a link to the consumption of some sliced cold meats bought locally from the delicatessen counters of two Morrisons supermarkets in Paisley, the Lonend store and the Falside Road store. Further investigation is continuing but, as a precaution, sliced cold meats have been withdrawn from these two stores and we would advise anyone who has bought sliced cold meat from these delicatessen counters not to consume them.
There is no evidence to suggest that pre-packed cooked meats purchased from the stores or other food purchased from the delicatessen counters are implicated.
Anyone who has consumed sliced cold meats purchased from the delicatessen counters at either of these stores in the past couple of weeks and who is experiencing symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), nausea and fever should contact a GP or NHS 24 (08454 242424) in the first instance.
Notes to Editors
What is E coli O 157?
E coli O 157 is a harmful strain of Escherichia coli. Most E coli strains are harmless, E coli O 157, however, can cause serious illness.
How can you contract it?
E coli O 157 is spread in a number of ways including eating or drinking contaminated food or drink, direct or indirect contact with infected animals and person to person contact.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms associated with E coli O 157 include stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.
Some people show few or no symptoms and for the majority of people the illness resolves within 5 – 10 days. In small children and the elderly, however, the infection can be more severe.
Preventing the infection?
The infection can be prevented by following a few simple steps including washing hands thoroughly before and after food handling and cooking, eating, feeding young children and the elderly, departing a farm park or zoo, using the toilet, handling animals, changing nappies and handling raw meat or poultry.
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.