Three people have died recently in England from listeriosis with a link to eating pre-made sandwiches and at least three others have been sickened by the deadly bacteria. The patients died at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.

Cases of Listeria infection have been reported in six hospital patients in England. Sandwiches and salads linked to the sick people have been withdrawn and the supplier, The Good Food Chain, has voluntarily ceased production while the investigation continues.

Tanya Marston, 38, told The Daily Mail on Sunday how she needed treatment with antibiotics and feared she might die after eating an infected sandwich during a stay as an inpatient at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. Genetic testing has confirmed that the type of Listeria found in her blood was identical to that already isolated from sandwiches supplied to hospital caterers by The Good Food Chain.

Public Health England (PHE), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Public Health Wales (PHW), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and some local authorities are investigating the source of Listeria infections linked to pre-packed sandwiches.

The Good Food Chain was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats and testing found a positive result for the outbreak strain of Listeria. This company and North Country Quality Foods who they distribute through, have voluntarily stopped production.

Over the weekend I got an email from the family member of a person who did after eating a sandwich at a hospital while undergoing treatment for cancer.  At first, I assumed that it was the recent outbreak linked to the British cases.  However, it was somewhat closer to home.

In 2018 at least four people who ate deli sandwiches from a restaurant in Canada’s largest cancer-care center have been infected with Listeria. Toronto Public Health (TPH) investigated the cases in both March and September in people who ate at Druxy’s in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the country’s largest cancer care center.

In March and April, Erie Meat Products Ltd. is recalled Druxy’s Fresh Deli Revolution Brand Seasoned Cooked Roast Beef from the marketplace due to possible Listeria contamination. The recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak linked to roast beef sold from Druxy’s Famous Deli restaurants.

Listeria infection can make anyone sick, but it presents a greater danger to adults over 60, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems, which makes it a particular concern to cancer patients.

Common symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and cramps. Severe symptoms include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. The symptoms can develop suddenly in people who have weak immune systems because of medical treatment or illness.

Symptoms usually occur within three weeks of eating foods contaminated with Listeria, but it can take up to 70 days in some people. There is no vaccine to prevent the Listeria infection, but it can be treated with antibiotics. Healthy people may only experience mild symptoms and usually recover completely. Individuals without symptoms do not need to be tested or treated.

Listeria infection is a serious but rare illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Common foods contaminated with the bacteria include deli meats and unpasteurized, raw dairy products.

Healthcare providers frequently overlook Listeria as a possible cause of illness because of its unusual growth capabilities. Laboratories sometimes have a difficult time culturing Listeria, and when they can, it can be confused with other, less harmful contaminants and disregarded.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.