As of 3pm on Monday 22 October 2012, The Public Health Agency (PHA) of Northern Ireland announced that there were 98 confirmed cases and 175 probable cases of E. coli O157:H7 linked to Flicks restaurant in Cityside Mall, 100-150 York Street, Belfast.  According to PHA, the increase in confirmed cases over recent days is not unexpected and is as a result of probable cases becoming confirmed following testing. The number of probable cases appears to be leveling off as fewer new reports are coming forward.

Four cases of E. coli O157:H7 in August which were linked to this same restaurant were “investigated thoroughly at the time” by PHA. The PHA further found “[a]ll tests on the restaurant were negative. In addition, further environmental health inspections were conducted, all of which were satisfactory, and enhanced surveillance to monitor for cases was also put in place.”   PHA then proudly claimed that “[f]urthermore, there were no cases of E. coli associated with Flicks restaurant in the six week period between the end of August and 9 October.”

Wow, the PHA did such a good job the 263 people did not get sick “six weeks” after the first four.