Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 5-11 June 2019

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 13 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4146

Food poisoning

Europe sees 23 million official cases a year

More than 23 million people in Europe fall ill from eating contaminated food each year, including 4700 who die—and this is just the tip of the iceberg, the World Health Organization said. The most frequent causes of foodborne illness are diarrhoeal disease agents, of which norovirus is the most common, causing an estimated 15 million cases, followed by Campylobacter spp, responsible for almost five million cases. Non-typhoidal Salmonella spp causes most deaths, but other major causes are Campylobacter spp, norovirus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Echinococcus multilocularis.

Listeria cases are investigated

Public health agencies began investigating the source of listeria infections linked to pre-packed sandwiches, after three hospital patients in England died and three others were taken seriously ill. Sandwiches and salads linked to the cases were withdrawn, and the supplier, the Good Food Chain, voluntarily ceased production during the investigation. Listeria infection is usually mild or unobserved in healthy people but can be more serious in people with pre-existing health conditions and pregnant women. As of 7 June no cases had been reported in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Patient safety

Inquiry looks at serious incidents at Liverpool trust

Stephen Hammond, health minister, launched an independent inquiry into serious incidents from 2010 to 2014 at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust in England (now run by the Mersey Care trust). The inquiry will be led by Bill Kirkup, …

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