UK’s Food Standards Agency has had a busy week – and it is only Thursday.

The FSA reported today that Sainsbury’s is recalling all of its bagged watercress and salads containing watercress as a precautionary measure, due to a possible association with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that has made 15 people ill.  The FSA has issued a Product Recall Information Notice:

  • by Sainsbury’s Watercress Leaves, 75g
  • by Sainsbury’s Watercress, Spinach and Rocket salad, 100g
  • by Sainsbury’s Watercress, Spinach and Rocket, 170g
  • by Sainsbury’s Watercress twin pack, 2 x 35g
  • So Organic Watercress, 75g
  • So Organic Watercress, Spinach and Rocket, 100g
  • ‘Use by’ dates: all date codes

No other Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd products are known to be affected.  The supermarket is advising people not to consume any of these products and to return them to the store they were purchased from for a full refund.  Investigations by the FSA, Public Health England and local authorities are continuing and further information will be provided once it becomes available.

In addition, the FSA announced that an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium across England and Wales is being investigated by Public Health England, Public Health Wales, the FSA and local authority environmental health officers. The outbreak was first detected in Wales in August and centered mainly in North Wales (Conwy and Gwynedd), with additional clusters being investigated in England in the Thames Valley, Leeds, Cumbria and Stafford areas.

A total of 21 confirmed cases in Wales and 30 in England have been reported, with 9 cases known to have required hospitalization.  Other potential cases are being investigated in both countries.

According to press reports, the “unusual” strain of potentially deadly Salmonella linked to ham from independent butchers.

And, to think I was just there at the end of June – perhaps I need to go back.