Uncooked eggs blamed for outbreak

UNCOOKED or partially cooked eggs are believed to have been the cause of three salmonella outbreaks which affected nearly 100 people.A report prepared by Suffolk Coastal District Council revealed that 52 people became ill after eating from a Chinese restaurant and take-away.

UNCOOKED or partially cooked eggs are believed to have been the cause of three salmonella outbreaks which affected nearly 100 people.

A report prepared by Suffolk Coastal District Council revealed that 52 people became ill after eating from a Chinese restaurant and take-away.

A golf club dinner dance also led to 30 cases of salmonella and eight staff and two patients were ill at two nursing homes in the Suffolk Coastal area.

The cases have all happened in the 12 months up to April.

The council said that investigations into the salmonella outbreaks could lead to two prosecutions under the Food Safety Act. There was also an E-coli outbreak involving two children linked to contact with farm animals.

The report was prepared for last night's policy development and review committee by Deborah Robinson, the council's director of environmental services.

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Mrs Robinson said: ''The three salmonella outbreaks are believed to be linked to uncooked or partially cooked egg dishes. The increase in salmonella food poisoning experienced within the district mirrors a national increase in cases linked to raw eggs.

''The council have been working closely with the Food Standards Agency to share information and help guide national policy on salmonella in eggs. Two of the investigations are likely to result in prosecutions under the Food Safety Act in 2003.''

Mrs Robinson added: ''A routine inspection of a public house revealed unsatisfactory standards of hygiene and this resulted in a successful prosecution for failing to comply with a Food Safety Act Improvement Notice. A fine of £750 was imposed with £750 costs being awarded to the council.

"59 food complaints have been investigated, one of which has resulted in a prosecution under the Food Safety Act 1990. The case was heard at the magistrates' court in April 2002 and a £1,000 fine and £1,000 costs were awarded.''

Her report covered the 2002-2003 period and Mrs Robinson said several courses had been organised in partnership with the Food Skills Centre at Otley College to help with food hygiene skills.

She said that in March seven catering staff were excluded from working in two food businesses in the district until they had been given medical clearance to return to work after an outbreak of salmonella.

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