The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) are continuing to investigate foods linked to listeria infections in hospitals.

This comes after the news that cases of listeria infection were found in six seriously ill hospital patients in England in which three of the patients died.

The source of listeria infections was said to be linked to pre-packed sandwiches.

There continues to only be cases in England, and all products linked to the cases have been withdrawn.

North Country Quality Foods and North Country Cooked Meats both decided to take immediate action, independent of the FSA, by withdrawing products and ceasing to trade.

The Good Food Chain, who were supplied with ingredients from North Country Cooked Meats, have also withdrawn all products from hospitals and other businesses and has ceased production.

Dr Colin Sullivan, chief operating officer at the FSA said: “Our sympathies remain with the families of the patients who have tragically passed away.

“We have taken action along with local authorities to minimise the risk based on the evidence so far.

“The FSA will continue to investigate the cause of the outbreak to prevent a reoccurrence.”

FSA advice

The FSA states that the best way to prevent listeriosis is to practice good food hygiene.

FSA advises that chilled food should be refrigerated as soon as it is delivered, and food that is required to be chilled is not permitted to be left out of temperature control for long periods of time.