E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

E.coli now linked to crab meat

14th December 2011

Health protection officers are investigating an outbreak of E.coli O157 in Plymouth that is believed to be linked to crab meat. Environmental health officers and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) launched an inquiry after nine cases were confirmed in August. Investigators revealed they took action at that time and there have been no further reports of illness linked to crab since. The investigation is continuing but there is a suspected link with an unapproved crab supplier. It is believed to be the first reported outbreak of the E.coli O157 strain associated with the consumption of crab.

The South West HPA and Plymouth City Council said in a joint statement: "A wider investigation is still ongoing following on from the outbreak, so we are not in a position to give full details but we suspect a link to an unapproved crab supplier. Environmental health officers from the council acted swiftly to identify crab meat as a possible source and removed all potentially affected crab meat from food establishments as a precautionary measure. The team worked closely with the SW (North) Health Protection Unit to investigate the cases and ensure that GPs in Plymouth and beyond were aware of the issue, if anyone presented with symptoms. The team also alerted food outlets in the city about the importance of only buying food or ingredients from approved or registered suppliers. Food outlets were told to remove any food that may have come from an unapproved supplier".

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