The NHS announced that as there was no conclusive evidence yet that J&H Cairns is the source of the outbreak, they advised as a precautionary measure that anyone who have any food items that are other than raw meat from J&H Cairns to dispose of it. The health authority said any potted meat from Wright the butcher, in Hunter Street, East Kilbride, which is supplied by J&H Cairns, should also be disposed.
NHS announced yesterday that a fourth adult had been diagnosed with the infection, and confirmed that all the cases are linked to J&H Cairns in the village of Law. Speaking for the first time yesterday, the shops owner, Jim Cairns, who had voluntarily closed his shop down said that his primary concern as the safety of his customers. He stated that he wanted to reassure the public that they were totally committed for doing all that is necessary and required to provide the highest standards of food safety and hygiene.
He went on to explain that they do follow a very rigorous system to ensure the best quality of food as available for public. He explained that the investigations have shown that they were rather unfortunate to find themselves in this predicament, but he promised to use this as a platform and as an incentive to ensure that they would raise the bar for standards much higher in the future.
Dr David Cromie, consultant in public health medicine with NHS Lanarkshire, explained that there could be possibilities of further cases of E coli to emerge, as symptoms could start up to 14 days after infection. Further stating that if anyone were experiencing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea, especially with bleeding, Dr Cromie urged to see their GP, as this could be a sign of E coli infection.
Dr Cromie also stated that Mr Cairns has been co-operating fully with the outbreak control team, and he is continuing to work with them so that he can reopen and resume business safely. The doctor announced that so far through out the incident the main interest of Crain's has been to ensure the safety of his customers. He environmental health officers have announced that they would be supervising J&H Cairns staff as a standard precaution on the opening day.
The world's worst outbreak of E coli, occurred in 1996 in which 21 people were killed and was reportedly also centred around a butcher in nearby Wishaw. At that time all the victims were struck down by E coli 0157. The bug, which lives in the intestines of cattle, spreads when raw meat comes into contact with prepared food or through unpasteurised dairy products. It causes severe diarrhoea and possible death.