One person in England has died linked to the ongoing E.coli outbreak, the UK Health Security Agency has said.

Last week, it was confirmed that at least 86 people have now been admitted to hospital as a result of an E. coli outbreak linked to lettuce.

Darren Whitby, head of incidents at the Food Standards Agency said: “Several sandwich manufacturers have now taken precautionary action to withdraw and recall various sandwiches, wraps, subs and rolls, as food chain and epidemiological links have enabled us to narrow down a wide range of foods consumed to a small number of salad leaves that have been used in these products.

“This remains a complex investigation and we continue to work at pace with the relevant businesses and local authorities to ensure necessary steps are being taken to protect consumers.

“Although we are confident in the source of the outbreak being linked to a small number of salad leaves, which we identified early on through extensive food chain analysis, work continues to identify the root cause of the outbreak with the growers, suppliers and manufacturers so that actions can be taken to prevent a re-occurrence.

“We will remain vigilant until the root cause of the outbreak is confirmed and we are keeping an open mind about possible causes of the outbreak.”

What is an E.coli infection?

E.coli are a group of bacteria which are found in the lining of the human gut, however, some E.coli bacteria can cause serious illness.

Most people contract an E.coli infection from consuming contaminated food or water and those who have the infection should recover in around 7 days.

What are the symptoms of an E.coli infection?

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea (which can contain blood)
  • Fever
  • Nausea

How to reduce the risk of contracting an E.coli infection

  • Regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap
  • Wash all fruit and veg before cooking and make sure they’re cooked correctly
  • If you show any symptoms, avoid coming into contact with other people until 48 hours after your symptoms have passed

Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at NowPatient, explained: “The UK Health Security Agency is advising Brits to be vigilant after an E.coli outbreak was reported, which is believed to have been caused by a nationally distributed food item.

“Although a number of the 113 people who have contracted the infection have been admitted to hospital, in most cases, people will recover in around 7 days if they follow the correct guidance in terms of treatment.

“E.coli is found in the lining of the gut in almost all humans and animals, however, some E.coli bacteria which can be found in contaminated water and food can pose a serious risk to human health, so it’s important to be aware of the main symptoms associated with an E.coli infection. Stomach cramps, diarrhoea which contains blood and an occasional fever could indicate you have an infection.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, to help flush the infection out and if your symptoms persist, you may need a course of antibiotics which your GP can prescribe you.

“In order to avoid catching an E.coli infection, it’s crucial to wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap, as well as make sure all fresh fruit and vegetables are washed before you cook with them.

“If you think you may have an E.coli infection, try and avoid contact with anyone else until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped.”