Tesco and Asda sued by customers over E. coli infections in sandwiches | E coli

Tesco and Asda are being sued by customers including the family of an 11-year-old girl, who became seriously ill after eating own-brand sandwiches linked to an outbreak of E. coli.

Supermarkets are facing legal action after a child and an adult were hospitalised. One person has been confirmed dead and more than 120 people, including a six-year-old child, have been hospitalised in the UK due to the bacteria.

Several food manufacturers have recalled sandwiches, wraps and salads sold in large supermarkets and retail chains over fears they are linked to the outbreak. The Food Standards Agency had previously said lettuce used in the products was thought to be the likely source of the outbreak.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said in a briefing on Thursday that two people in England have died within 28 days of infection with Shiga toxin-producing substances. E. coli (Stec).

“Based on information available from health service physicians, it is likely that one of these deaths is related to Stec infection,” the agency said. “Both individuals had underlying medical conditions. The deaths occurred in May.”

One of the victims, whose family is suing Asda, is an 11-year-old girl from the North West. She became seriously ill and was hospitalised and on dialysis for almost three weeks after eating their chicken salad sandwich.

She was discharged two days ago but could be at risk of permanent kidney damage. Her mother purchased three of the sandwiches as part of an online delivery, according to a legal letter.

The child developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a clinical syndrome associated with Stec that can lead to kidney failure and death.

Claire Glasgow, from law firm Fieldfisher, who is representing the girl’s family, said: “Thankfully she is now stable enough to return home, but HUS is a very serious condition which can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. , which can affect people for life.”

Fieldfisher’s lawyers sent a letter of claim for breach of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 to Asda supermarket on behalf of the girl.

Harvinder Kaur, director of Fieldfisher, also issued a letter of complaint to Tesco for breach of the same act on behalf of an adult male customer from the South East, who was also hospitalized with my coli symptoms after eating store-brand sandwiches containing salad.

“Fortunately, this client did not develop haemolytic uremic syndrome and is now at home, but he was seriously ill for a while. Under the law, companies that produce food must ensure that it is safe to eat. If they cause illness, this is a breach of duty and those affected are entitled to claim compensation, in particular to fund any ongoing medical care. My client was a regular customer of Tesco, buying his lunch there almost every day as it was very close to his work,” said Kaur.

E.coli is a diverse group of normally harmless bacteria that live in the intestines of humans and animals. However, some strains produce toxins, such as Stec, that can make people very sick.

Stec can cause diarrhea, which is bloody in about 50% of cases. Other symptoms include stomach cramps and fever. Symptoms can last up to two weeks in uncomplicated cases.

Some patients, mainly children, may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome. A small proportion of adults may develop a similar condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).

As of June 25, 19 more cases of Stec have been recorded, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 275 in the UK, according to the report on the UKHSA website.

An Asda spokesperson said: “We have not yet received any letters from Fieldfisher regarding these claims. As soon as we do so, we will urgently review the details of the claim.”

It is understood that Tesco has not yet received notification of the claim.

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