Bad timing for a food poisoning outbreak at Sunderland City Council

As many as fifty Sunderland City Council workers have been struck down by what is thought to be a case of food poisoning. Employees began to feel unwell and experience bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea after a two-day event at the council where refreshments were offered to the attendees. The Health Protection Agency has now been called in to investigate the incident and to attempt to determine the source of the outbreak.

Such an incident would be unfortunate at any time of the year, but this suspected food poisoning occurred during the Food Standards Agency’s ‘Food Safety Week’, which is intended to raise awareness of good food hygiene practices… Luckily, while the timing could have been better, none of the workers appears to be seriously ill as a result of eating the food.

Outbreaks such as this one just go to show how important good food hygiene practices are; the failure to ensure that food is prepared and stored in a safe manner can very easily leave many people feeling very ill indeed.

In this case, not only has the council been left with egg on its face, but I imagine that the mass absence of council workers for at least forty-eight hours has made this an expensive mistake to make.