THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: 200 children have been poisoned in an ongoing Salmonella outbreak in the UK. The incident is being linked to cheap breaded chicken products. With first cases of the outbreak dating back to January 2020, the cases of Salmonella inflection continued to be reported. Out of 480 cases reported so far, 44% were seen in children under or aged 16.
A series of recalls have been issued by The Food Standards Agency (FSA) which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Food Standards Scotland, for suspect processed chicken that has been available at Sainsbury, Morrisons Lidl, Aldi, and Iceland-
- As announced on Friday, the latest recalls include SFC Chicken Poppets and Take Home Boneless Bucket, which have been available at Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and Vesty Foods Chick Inn 32 Jumbo Chicken Nuggets, which have been sold at Heron Food stores and B&M shops
- As reported, the earlier recalls included Lidl’s Red Hen Breaded Chicken Nuggets, Aldi’s Roosters Breaded Poppin Chicken, and Iceland’s Chip Shop Curry Chicken Breast Toppers. These are marketed as affordable family food product.
The FSA confirmed that this Salmonella originated in Poland. It has also launched an investigation into two strains of the salmonella in frozen raw breaded chicken in these products. It further states “Investigations are ongoing in Poland to identify which farm-level sources had led to the outbreaks. As some poultry products share some common food operators, therefore one and more supplier and multiple farm level producers have been suspected for the same”.
Public Health England (PHE) states that some cases of the salmonella inflection were so serious that immediate hospital treatment was required. However, medical treatment didn’t respond positively for all cases, as Salmonella was recorded as a contributory cause of death in at least one case. Furthermore, among many other infected, four couldn’t fight causing their death. Although PHE refused to reveal the specific details as in age, gender, location and so on of the cases of death, report suggests 57% of the victims were men.
“Salmonella generally causes mild illness, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. Vulnerable groups like children under five and elderly ones with weak immune systems are more vulnerable to it and may require proper hospitalization. As cases continued to be reported, anyone who is concerned about the symptoms should contact their GP or out-of-hour service in the first instance”, said Saheer Gharbia; the head of the gastrointestinal pathogens unit of PHE’s National Infection Service.
Further, the FSA’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Sullivan said “To help reduce the risk of food poisoning to the family, our advice is to take care while storing, handling and cooking these frozen breaded chicken products. And one should also check the cooking instructions on food packaging, as different brand for the same product might include different instructions. This is important because cooking food at high temperature with correct length of time will kill harmful bacteria into it”.