Two more deaths in listeria outbreak.
TWO more patients have died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to a listeria outbreak, taking the total number of deaths to five, Public Health England has said.
The source of the infection is understood to relate to products supplied by The Good Food Chain and the affected sandwiches and salads have since been withdrawn from hospitals.
PHE said evidence suggests all the deceased ate the products before the withdrawal took place on May 25.
The investigations into the outbreak are ongoing, PHE said, and are being conducted in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The first three victims who died were at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.
It is understood that of the latest two deaths, one died after the first three confirmed cases. The other died before the first three, but has only just been linked.
The trusts where the latest two victims were receiving treatment have not yet been named, but PHE said there are seven trusts across the country dealing with listeria cases.
The first case showed symptoms on April 25 and sandwiches and salads were withdrawn on May 25, as soon as a link with the cases was suspected.
The Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS trusts, has voluntarily ceased production. The business was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which has since tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria and also stopped production.