LONDON (AFP) - Two Britons have died of food poisoning after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads, British health authorities said on Friday (June 14), in a listeria outbreak that has already killed three people in British hospitals.
The patients died of listeriosis, a rare bacterial infection that is especially dangerous for people with weak immune systems or pregnant women.
The listeria bacteria primarily develops in dairy products and chilled ready-to-eat food, according to Britain's National Health Service (NHS).
The source of the infection is reportedly products supplied by The Good Food Chain and the affected sandwiches and salads have since been withdrawn from hospitals.
"To date, there have been no patients linked to this incident outside health-care organisations, but we continue to investigate," said Nick Phin, the deputy head of the National Infection Service.
"Swift action was taken to protect patients and any risk to the public is low."
The Good Food Chain supplies 43 NHS trusts, which often group together several hospitals, across Britain.
The chain had been supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which subsequently produced a positive test result for the outbreak strain of listeria.