Civil claims lodged over listeria poisoning

Testing for bacteria in lab

Digby Brown Solicitors is helping victims of listeria poisoning raise civil actions against supermarkets.

We were asked to investigate cases from across the Central Belt after members of the public suffered illnesses after eating contaminated foods.

What foods are associated with listeria outbreak?

The listeria outbreak resulted in stores like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Iceland, Lidl and Aldi recalling items like frozen corn, peas and spinach from their shelves after a series of deaths across Europe sparked a warning from official food standards groups.

Mark Gibson, a Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors who specialises in poisoning cases, is now urging Scots to seek medical help if they fear they have been affected.

He said: “This listeria outbreak cannot and should not be taken lightly – it has affected an entire continent, so much so that people have sadly died.

“Supermarkets may have recalled some products but the sheer scale of the issue and the delay in responding to it, means the number of victims can only be expected to increase.

“We are aware that many of those affected are currently receiving medical treatment and the full impact is not yet known.

“So far, several individuals from across the Central Belt have contacted us for legal assistance after it was confirmed to them by A&E doctors that they were suffering from listeriosis.

“If anyone thinks they or a loved one has been affected by contaminated foods then I urge you to see a medical professional as soon as possible as the symptoms could initially be mistaken for a severe episode of conditions such as flu or a gastric bug.”

What happens if you have listeria?

Listeria is a bacteria which can be found in many ready-to-eat foods that have already been pre-cooked.

It can cause an illness called listeriosis and while the infection is considered rare it has the potential to be serious, particularly if you’re pregnant or have a weak immune system.

How do you know if you have listeria?

According to the NHS there are five signs to watch out for:

  • a high temperature of 38°C or above
  • aches and pains
  • chills
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • diarrhoea

What should you do if you think you have listeria?

If you’re pregnant and think you have listeriosis you should call your midwife straight away - you may need a blood test to check for the infection.

If the infection is not treated, severe listeriosis can cause serious infections like meningitis in babies and people with a weak immune system.

If you experience a severe headache and stiff neck, discomfort when looking at bright lights, fits, sudden confusion, or a rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it, you should call 999 or go to A&E.