Did sand­wich poi­son pa­tient?

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Clare Mul­grew

It is be­lieved a pa­tient con­tracted lis­te­ria by eat­ing a sand­wich from a con­tam­i­nated batch re­called from hos­pi­tals, schools and busi­nesses across the South East

A PA­TIENT was struck down with lis­te­ria thought to orig­i­nate from a con­tam­i­nated sand­wich pro­duced in an Ash­ford fac­tory.

The Health Pro­tec­tion Agency (HPA) con­firmed that a pa­tient had con­tracted the same strain of lis­te­ria found in sand­wiches made by An­chor Cater­ing in Kingsnorth.

The pa­tient, from an un­named hospi­tal, re­cov­ered from lis­te­ria but died of an ex­ist­ing ill­ness.

HPA spokesman Kathryn Swan said: “We can con­firm that an in­di­vid­ual with a weak­ened im­mune sys­tem, who re­ported eat­ing a sand­wich – likely to be An­chor – in a hospi­tal sup­plied by An­chor has tested pos­i­tive for the same strain of Lis­te­ria as the one found at An­chor Cater­ing.

“The strain is rel­a­tively un­com­mon and it is very likely that the two are linked.”

A spokesman for An­chor Cater­ing said they were un­able to com­ment as they had not been for­mally no­ti­fied of the in­ci­dent.

The Food Stan­dards Agency raised the alarm on March 16 when lis­te­ria was picked up in rou­tine test­ing but it was feared “large num­bers” of sand­wiches had al­ready been eaten.

This is the first case of food poi­son­ing to be re­ported but the FSA has warned symp­toms can take up to 90 days to ap­pear.

As many as 220,000 ready-made sand­wiches with sell-by dates from Fe­bru­ary 21 and March 14 were un­der sus­pi­cion.

An­chor Cater­ing vol­un­tar­ily ceased pro­duc­tion for in­ves­ti­ga­tions and deep clean­ing.

An­chor, which also trades un­der the Pomegranate la­bel, sells prod­ucts across Kent.

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