Listeria positive: Sliced chicken withdrawn from schools in Caerphilly, Wales

Action has been taken to withdraw a batch of sliced cooked chicken supplied to canteens in schools in Caerphilly after potentially harmful levels of Listeria monocytogenes – the bacteria that causes listeria food poisoning – was found in the product.

listeria4No illnesses linked to the incident have been reported and the risk to the vast majority of healthy children and staff is very low.

The potentially contaminated chicken was served in 45 of 90 schools supplied, as quality checks identified no concerns prior to service. As a precaution, all chicken from this supplier has been removed from the menus.

Parents of pupils from the affected schools have been notified of the incident. At this stage it is unclear whether the whole batch of chicken was affected. The samples in which the bacteria were found were taken from schools where the catering staff noticed an unusual smell and withdrew the chicken from service.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Public Health Wales and environmental health officers at Caerphilly County Borough Council have been urgently investigating the source of the contamination. No cause has been identified at this stage but a food manufacturer from England which supplied the chicken and a distributor in Wales are being investigated. As a precaution, all cooked sliced chicken from the company in England is being tested for contamination.

Hepatitis A outbreak strikes in Welsh schools

Parents are being advised not to send their child to school for seven days if Hepatitis A is suspected following a number of cases in Caerphilly, South Wales

hep.aParents are being warned over an outbreak of hepatitis across schools in the UK.

Public Health Wales have confirmed that two more cases – including one at a secondary school – have been diagnosed in Caerphilly.

The total number of cases of hepatitis A in the area is now 11.

Heather Lewis, a consultant in health protection, warned there may be more cases to come, reports Wales Online.

Hepatitis A vaccination is not routinely offered on the NHS, as the infection is rare in the UK, with 13 reported cases in Wales in 2012.

It is strongly advised that anyone travelling to a country where the infection is more common should receive the vaccination.