16 August 2006
Leigh Day & Co has recently been instructed by Samuel Cunningham
, a married man in his 50s from Oxford, to investigate a claim against Cadbury Schweppes
in relation to the health problems suffered as a result of contracting food poisoning.
Mr Cunningham first became unwell in mid June 2006 a few days after consuming a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate
. He suffered from severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and was very weak for three weeks, during which time he was unable to eat anything and lost over two stone in weight. A stool sample provided to his GP confirmed that he was infected with Salmonella montevideo
, a very rare strain of the bacteria.
Salmonella in chocolate
Cadbury Schweppes informed the regulatory authority, the Food Standards Agency
, on 19th June 2006 that it had detected Salmonella contamination of products from its plant in Malbrook, Hertfordshire since January 2006. In fact, further information provided by Cadbury to the FSA indicated that some of its products had also been contaminated with Salmonella montevideo in April 2002 but that the products had been destroyed.
The FSA advised the company to recall seven types of Cadbury’s chocolate bar, including the type eaten by Mr Cunningham, on 21st June 2006. The recall of affected products began on 23rd June 2006 with the Food Standards Agency issuing a Food Alert to all local authorities.
The FSA have also sought the views of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), an independent body set up to provide advice to Government on microbiological issues and food.
The ACMSF confirmed that the presence of Salmonella in chocolate at any level was “unacceptable”. The ACMSF were also critical of Cadbury’s procedures for testing for the presence of Salmonella, which they considered were likely to under-estimate the level of the problem, and their risk-assessment procedures, which they described as “unreliable”.
Health Protection Agency
Earlier this year, the Health Protection Agency
, an independent body set up to provide advice to Government on public health issues, set up an Outbreak Control Team (OCT) to investigate the increase in Salmonella montevideo food poisoning cases during 2006. They have recorded approximately 60 cases where the organism has been identified.
As a result of their investigations, the OCT have recently concluded: “After carefully considering all the available evidence, the OCT concluded that consumption of products made by Cadbury Schweppes was the most credible explanation for the outbreak of Salmonella montevideo”.
Earlier this month, Cadbury Schweppes, who are the world’s largest confectionery firm, reported profits in the six months up to 30th June 2006 of £402 million.
Leigh Day & Co is acting for Mr Cunningham on a “no win, no fee” arrangement in order to investigate a claim against Cadbury Schweppes for compensation for the pain and suffering endured by Mr Cunningham as a result of contracting the Salmonella montevideo infection as well as the financial losses incurred through being unable to work for three weeks.
Mr Cunningham’s case is being handled by Sean Humber
, a Partner in the Human Rights Department of Leigh Day & Co with considerable experience of handling food poisoning cases.
He is also the legal advisor of the Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome Help
- U.K. E.Coli Support Group (HUSH). HUSH is a charitable organisation set up by families whose members have suffered illnesses caused by E coli 0157
infections. The organisation is supported by members of the medical, microbiological, public health and legal professions.
If you believe that you or a member of your family has suffered health problems as a result of food poisoning, Leigh Day & Co
have the knowledge and skill to represent you in your claim. Should you wish discuss a possible claim please contact Sean Humber
on 020 7650 1200.
Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.