E. coli O157 – Update 31 October 2012

E. coli O157 – Update 31 October 2012

The Public Health Agency (PHA) and Environmental Health Officers from Belfast City Council are continuing to investigate an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 linked to Flicks restaurant in Cityside Mall, 100-150 York Street, Belfast.

As of 3pm on Wednesday 31 October 2012, there were 134 confirmed cases and 165 probable cases.

The PHA continues to advise members of the public that if they have diarrhoea and/ or vomiting they should not go to work but stay at home and not prepare food until they are 48 hours symptom free. It is important that everyone helps to prevent the spread of E coli and washes their hands after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.

Further information

For media enquiries, contact PHA Communications on 028 9055 3663

Notes to the editor

Updates will be issued once a week until further notice. The next update will be issued on Wednesday 7 November. Case numbers will also be published on the PHA website every Monday and Friday.

Information on E. coli O157:http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/ecoli-O157

For further information, the PHA leaflet Preventing food poisoning at home and in healthcare settings at: http://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/preventing-food-poisoning-home-and-healthcare-settings-0

The PHA and Belfast City Council are also working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on investigating this incident. The FSA is the central authority for food safety and is a food regulator: http://www.food.gov.uk 

Examples of previous major E. coli outbreaks elsewhere in the UK:

  • During August and September 2009 there was an outbreak of E. coli O157 among visitors to Godstone Farm in Surrey, England. 93 people were affected.
  • In September 2005 there was an outbreak of E. coli O157 in Wales, with more than 150 cases, most of whom were children.
  • In 1996, there was an E. coli O157 outbreak linked to a butcher’s in Lanarkshire, Scotland, which resulted in over 300 cases.