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Home News centre National Press Releases 2013 Press Releases ›  Food poisoning investigation in Havering

Food poisoning investigation in Havering

3 January 2013

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has been notified of an outbreak of food poisoning associated with an establishment in Havering. One person has sadly died after being admitted to hospital.

Approximately 30 people in total have reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after eating at the venue on 25 December 2012. Laboratory testing has confirmed the presence of Clostridium perfringens bacteria in a number of samples submitted by those experiencing symptoms, including the patient who died.

Dr Deborah Turbitt, director of the HPA’s local Health Protection Unit, said:

“Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time. We have been working with Environmental Health Officers at Havering Council to identify the cause of illness and any links to food eaten at the venue. The venue has been cooperating fully with our investigations.

“Clostridium perfringens bacteria are the third most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and this mostly occurs in relation to red meat or poultry. Indications suggest that this outbreak is an isolated event.

“People become unwell on average after about 12 hours of eating food contaminated with Clostridium perfringens, with diarrhoea and abdominal pain being the main symptoms. The illness generally lasts no more than a few days although vulnerable groups such as very young children, elderly people, and those with underlying health problems can be more seriously affected. It is rare for a person to die as a direct result of food poisoning.”

People who become unwell with symptoms of food poisoning are advised to drink plenty of fluids and take rest at home. If symptoms are particularly severe or do not settle within two days then they should seek medical advice.


Notes to editors

For further information about Gastrointestinal Disease, visit the HPA Gastrointestinal disease page.

Media enquiries: Tycie West, HPA London press office, 020 7811 7243 / of hours press officer: 020 8200 4400



Last reviewed: 4 January 2013