UK coroner blasts health bosses for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting listeria outbreak after grandmother, 81, died from eating infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich in NHS hospital

The headline sorta sums things up.

A coroner has slammed health officials for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting a nationwide listeria outbreak after a ‘much-loved’ grandmother died from eating an infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich while in hospital.

Alexander Robertson of the Daily Mail reports that Brenda Elmer’s family thought the 81-year-old was simply recovering from a recent operation, rather than battling the potentially life-threatening bacteria.

A coroner branded delays in reporting some listeria cases as ‘inexcusable’ and said it hindered the national response to last year’s outbreak of the infection.

An information ‘black hole’ also meant that warnings over the outbreak were delayed in reaching Mrs Elmer’s family, senior coroner Penelope Schofield said.

Mrs Elmer is one of five people thought to have died in last year’s national listeria scandal, linked to sandwiches that had been supplied to 43 NHS trusts.

It prompted a ‘root and branch’ review of hospital food in the UK by Public Health England.

But was the suspect mayo made from from eggs – a chef’s favorite but a public health nightmare – the story doesn’t say. And it was just as likely to be the meat rather than the mayo if the mayo was commercially prepared.

UK jurnos, I’ve given you some ledes, go find out.

Always question authority.