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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Woman threatens to sue Cadbury's
Cadbury's Caramel Dairy Milk bar
A total of seven brands of chocolate bar were withdrawn
A woman is considering taking legal action if tests prove she contracted salmonella poisoning after eating a Cadbury's chocolate bar.

Cadbury's withdrew a million bars in June after a pipe at its Herefordshire plant caused salmonella contamination.

Catherine Henderson, 62, of County Antrim, N Ireland, spent five days in hospital. Her lawyers said tests found she had the same strain of the bug.

Cadbury's said there was no link between illness cases and its bars.

'Legs went weak'

A cleaning operation is up and running at the plant in Marlbrook, Herefordshire, to ensure no salmonella remains at the factory.

In a statement Mrs Henderson's solicitors Irwin Mitchell said she was rushed to hospital after having trouble breathing and was kept on an isolation ward for five days.

Mrs Henderson said she had eaten a Cadbury's caramel bar.

"I couldn't believe what was happening to me," she said. "All of a sudden my legs went weak and I started finding it hard to breathe.

"My heart was racing and slowing down as if it was going to stop."

'Strong medical evidence'

She was told by environmental health officials that her tests showed the presence of salmonella Montevideo, her lawyers revealed.

A spokesman for legal firm Irwin Mitchell, David Standard, said: "We have strong medical evidence that Mrs Henderson's illness is linked to the eating chocolate.

"We are carrying out further medical test which should prove this link."

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said there has been an outbreak of the Montevideo strain of the bug but that the source of the outbreak had not been identified.

He said that since the beginning of March there had been 31 cases reported of the same strain of the Montevideo variety of the bug across England and Wales.

In total there had been 59 cases of Montevideo salmonella since 1 March, and on average there are 55 cases a year.

A Cadbury's spokesman said: "Whilst we continue to work with the Food Standards Agency and local authorities, no link has been found between any incident of salmonella illness and our products.

"Minute traces of salmonella were found in a very few of hundreds of samples tested which we believe was well below the levels that would cause illness."

Cadbury's gets a thorough clean
07 Jul 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Cadbury agrees to improve tests
06 Jul 06 |  Business

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