The death of a Jewish grandmother who contracted salmonella from bean sprouts should force national changes to food labelling to prevent further deaths, a coroner has ruled.
A four-day inquest into the death of René Kwartz, from north Manchester, concluded that the 82- year-old was infected by salmonella, in bean sprouts served at a Jewish wedding in August 2010. It had been alleged that the wedding’s caterer, Shefa Mehadrin, had neglected food safety standards.
But on Dec. 8, 2011, the inquest’s jury unanimously returned a verdict of death by natural causes.
During evidence from Bury Council’s environmental health investigators, it emerged that no fault was found with the caterer, but that serving instructions on the bean sprout packages used at the wedding, were misleading.
Manchester Coroner Nigel Meadows said he would push the government and the Food Standards Agency to review cooking guidelines on bean sprout packaging. The agencies must report on what action will be taken within 56 days.
Concluding the inquest, Mr Meadows said: "It seems that clarity on the cooking of this product could be easily achieved.
A table of sprout-related outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/sprouts-associated-outbreaks.