Eight NHS hospitals hit by listeria outbreak

18 June 2019 (Last Updated June 18th, 2019 18:07)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that eight NHS hospitals were hit by the listeria outbreak which killed five patients so far.

Eight NHS hospitals hit by listeria outbreak
Listeria is a bacterium that can cause a type of food poisoning called listeriosis. Credit: Penn State

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that eight NHS hospitals were hit by the listeria outbreak which killed five patients so far.

Pledging to take necessary steps to improve hospital food, the secretary stated that the government is keen to see the NHS take back the catering service in-house, reported Telegraph.

The secretary disclosed the names of six NHS hospitals which have been hit by the outbreak, reported The Telegraph.

Listeria outbreak has been linked to pre-packed sandwiches and salads.

The outbreak killed patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary, and Royal Derby Hospital.  A further four hospitals, William Harvey in Ashford, Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire, St Richards Hospital in Chichester, Sussex, and Worthing Hospital, have also been impacted by the outbreak.

Last week, two hospital trusts – Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool were impacted as these two trusts together had seen three deaths due to the outbreak, reported the publication.

Sandwiches and salads linked to the outbreak were withdrawn on 25 May.

Doctors are concerned that there may be more cases as listeria has an incubation period of 70-day incubation period.

Hancock told the Commons: “There are dozens of hospital trusts that have brought their catering inhouse and found that you get better quality food more likely to be locally produced and better value for money by bringing the delivery of food services in house. And that is something we are going to be examining very closely because I am very attracted to that model and it also has the potential to reduce the risk of safety concerns like this.”