According to British microbiologists, in the overseas travel, pre-packed sandwiches and cold meat raise the risk of poisoning with a common bacterium. Campylobacter is a major cause of food poisoning in the UK. It causes diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain and even complications like arthritis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a type of temporary paralysis.
The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) has done one of the first studies of the sources of Campylobacter . They examined 7,000 reported cases in England and Wales over a one year period. One in five had travelled outside the UK in the weeks prior to diagnosis, many of them to Asia - especially India or Pakistan. The major source within the UK was cold meat, especially in pre-packed sandwiches, consumed by one in three. Twenty one per cent hat eaten pates, and 22 per cent cold meat. Recent contact with animals, especially pet dogs and cats, was another source of risk.