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E coli 0157 kills five people in Scotland

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1424

An inquiry had been set up to examine the circumstances behind Britain's worst outbreak of food poisoning from Escherichia coli 0157, which has resulted in five deaths and left 280 people ill.

The outbreak, in central Scotland, has been linked to cold and cooked meat products sold by a butcher, John Barr and Son, in the Lanarkshire town of Wishaw and supplied to dozens of outlets in the surrounding area.

The deaths have all occurred among elderly people, two of whom were among a group of pensioners who shared a meal at a church in Wishaw on 17 November. They had eaten a steak pie supplied by John Barr, and tests have since confirmed the presence of E coli bacteria in the gravy. It soon became clear, however, …

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