Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Bakery 'link' to E. coli outbreak

Myers Bakery
The owners of the bakery are working with health officials

Health officials on Tyneside are investigating seven confirmed and six possible cases of E.coli infection in adults from the Gateshead area.

One person is currently being treated in hospital, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). The other people are recovering at home.

The HPA said six of those infected bought cooked meats or sandwiches from Myers bakery in Felling.

The owners have agreed to close the bakery pending further investigations.

Dr Kirsty Foster, of the HPA, said: "In light of our investigations so far, and as a precautionary measure, we are advising the public not to eat any products they may have bought from Myers Bakery.

"We would also advise people to throw out any products, including stuffing, from the shop which they may still have in their fridges, freezers and cupboards.

Dr Foster said most people became infected after eating food about 10 days ago

"The proprietor is co-operating fully with the investigation and has already closed the shop voluntarily while investigations continue.

"No other outlets have as yet been identified but investigations are at an early stage."

She said tests on suspected cases should be known by early next week.

E. coli O157 bacteria can cause a range of symptoms, from mild diarrhoea to severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea.

In a small proportion of patients it can also result in kidney failure.

E.coli O157 bacteria are commonly found in the gut of animals, mainly cattle, but also in the faeces of other animals.

People can catch it by eating contaminated food such as undercooked meat, contact with infected animals or with other people who have the infection.

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