15 sickened with E. coli from butcher: Council says no action to be

In June and July, 2015, 15 people were sickened with E. coli O157 from Robinson’s Butchers and Caterers in Billingham, UK.

Tia Donaldson, e.coliYesterday Durham County Council decided it would take no action against the butcher even though cross-contamination was the likely cause.

Stockton Council is continuing its inquiry into the conditions at the Billingham branch which has remained closed since the incident.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “Officers from Durham County Council’s food safety team took all appropriate enforcement actions during the course of the investigation, to ensure that suitable and effective control measures were put into place by the food business operator at the Wingate premises. Any identified contraventions of food safety law were rectified at the time, and all recommendations were fully implemented without delay. Accordingly, there is no intention to pursue any further formal enforcement action in respect of this incident.”

Some of those affected contracted illness from food supplied by Robinson’s butcher’s to Northfield School in Billingham.

A report by Public Health England’s outbreak control team in December found the outbreak did come from Robinson’s, and said the likely cause was “cross-contamination from raw meat to ready-to-eat food within the Billingham branch and to a lesser degree at the Wingate branch.”

Robinson’s butchersOf the 15 people affected, 10 needed hospital treatment of which seven went on to develop haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a serious condition affecting the kidneys.

One of these was 12-year-old Tia Donaldson, of Billingham, who was left in a critical condition having suffered kidney failure, a series of mini strokes and a dangerously inflamed bowel.