We are sure our members are aware of the very distressing news of a listeria infection in six seriously ill hospital patients in England. Three of these patients have sadly died. Currently there are no cases in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. TUCO is deeply upset to learn of the patient deaths and its thoughts are with the families affected.
Public Health England (PHE), The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Public Health Wales (PHW), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and a number of local authorities are currently investigating the source of listeria infections linked to pre-packed sandwiches.
Sandwiches and salads linked to the cases have been withdrawn and the supplier, The Good Food Chain, has voluntarily ceased production while the investigation continues. This business had been supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats which subsequently produced a positive test result for the outbreak strain of listeria. This business and North Country Quality Foods who they distribute through, have also voluntarily ceased production.
TUCO takes its members’ safety extremely seriously and, as The Good Food Chain is also a supplier on the TUCO Framework Agreement for Sandwiches and Associated products, has therefore suspended The Good Food Chain and its products from our frameworks until further checks can be completed. We are liaising with our Food Safety auditors STS throughout the process.
Very few of our members used this particular supplier and we are in touch personally with each of those affected to arrange a suitable alternative.
Since learning of the localised outbreak, the Procurement team have been in touch with suppliers across all relevant TUCO frameworks to ensure that any products linked to either supplier are removed from the supply chain immediately. We will update members if there are any further withdrawals or suspensions.
Please note advice from the FSA 'Listeria infection in healthy people is usually either unnoticed or may cause very mild illness. However, it can have more serious consequences for some people, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions and pregnant women. The health risk to the public remains low and individuals should only seek medical attention if they develop symptoms.'
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our contracts team on 0161 713 3429.
UPDATE - Monday 17 June
Since the time of publishing the above statement, we have been made aware that an additional two patients have sadly passed away. The above advice is still correct, please do contact TUCO if you have any concerns.