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Watercress Recalled in E.Coli Alert

September 13, 2013

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p>An outbreak of E.Coli VTEC0157 that has so far made 18 people ill has prompted Sainsbury’s to withdraw its own brand watercress from sale. Six lines of pre-packed salads containing watercress were also removed from shelves as a precaution. A spokesman for Britain?s third largest supermarket chain said; ?The FSA has made us aware that a small number of people have fallen ill with a bacterial infection, and that one of their lines of investigation is watercress bought at Sainsbury’s since August 1, customer safety and the quality of our food are our overriding concern.? Thirteen of the people affected are from England with three from Wales and one from Scotland, the majority over 50 years of age.

Watercress was identified as a link after questionnaires completed by cases were analysed by Public Health England. As Dr Dilys Morgan, Head of Gatrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, explained; ?We have a robust surveillance system in place for?VTEC?and this helped us identify that watercress was the most probable food item which was causing the illness. We then followed this up with detailed food questionnaires and this confirmed that most cases had eaten it?. To date no traces of E.coli have been identified in products tested by either the Food Standards Agency or Sainsbury?s.??