Listeria outbreak leads to warning over hospital sandwiches

Almost a month after an elderly patient died in a Northern Ireland hospital and three others were sickened from Listeria, health trusts have been advised to stop serving sandwiches from a specific food company.

Following the outbreak, the trust carried out a review of food supplier and distribution chains with the Food Standards Agency and Environmental Health.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said preliminary results of tests on sandwiches provided to inpatients indicated low levels of listeria were present although he stressed these were within the legal limits.

In response to an Assembly question on the matter, he said: “As a precautionary measure the Northern Trust decided not to serve sandwiches from a particular supplier until investigations have been completed.

In 2008, three patients died during a listeria outbreak at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Also in 2008, 23 people – primarily elderly – died from Listeria in Maple Leaf deli meats in Canada. Maybe the sandwiches could be heated?