Review of hospital food ordered after Listeria outbreak and deaths in UK
Yesterday is was revealed that two more people have died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to a listeria outbreak, taking the total number of deaths to five.
The affected products have since been withdrawn from hospitals and Public Health England (PHE) said evidence suggested all the deaths had occurred before the items were removed from circulation on May 25.
Following the news, Matt Hancock ordered a "root and branch" review of NHS food, he said: "I have been incredibly concerned by this issue and strongly believe that we need a radical new approach to the food that is served in our NHS.
"Staff, patients and families deserve so much better - our NHS should be at the forefront of supporting people to make healthy choices.
"I have instructed the NHS to conduct a root and branch review of hospital food."
PHE said investigations into the outbreak are ongoing and are being conducted in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The first three victims who died were at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.
It is understood that of the latest two listeria deaths, one died after the first three confirmed cases.
The other patient died before the three listeria cases that were reported last week, but has only just been discovered to be linked to the same strain of the bacteria.
The trusts where the latest two victims were receiving treatment have not yet been named, but PHE said there are seven trusts across the country dealing with listeria cases. ■