PRESS RELEASE: Howe & Co (Solicitors), Craven House, 40 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2BS UK - Tel 0181 840 4688 - Fax 0181 840 7209

E.coli 0157 Food Poisoning in England:

Legal Aid Granted Today to Sue Government and Others

3rd December 1996

We act for 7 children from different parts of England who, having been poisoned by the E.coli 0157 bacteria, suffered HUS/kidney failure.

These children have today been granted Legal Aid in principle to instigate legal actions against:

  • the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF);
  • the Department of Health;
  • McDonald's Restaurants Ltd;
  • McKey Foods Ltd; and
  • A J Green & Sons Abattoir.

The actions against the Government will be based, inter alia, on the following grounds:

  1. Failure to warn and advise the public as to the risks of E.coli 0157;
  2. Failure to educate the public as to how to destroy E.coli 0157 bacteria in foods;
  3. Failure to impose mandatory labelling of beef products as to the required cooking time/temperature which will destroy the bacteria;
  4. Failure to impose the mandatory steam cleaning of carcasses;
  5. Failure to facilitate sufficient research; and
  6. Failure to adequately advise Health Authorities and NHS trusts as to the increasing prevalence of E.Coli 0157 and the most effective diagnostic methods.

Some of the parents, and ourselves, are available for interviews.

Telephone Lucy Kennedy or Martin Howe.

See also :
  • Infected children to sue over lethal food bug

    Additional notes by the McLibel Support Campaign:
    (A) Three of the children, for whom Howe & Co are acting, suffered food poisoning as a result of eating burgers in McDonald's (in Gateshead and Liverpool).
    (B) In the actions against McDonald's, the documentary and transcript evidence from the McLibel Trial concerning food safety which Howe & Co presented to the Legal Aid Board, was of great help in satisfying the Board that there are sufficient grounds for suing.
    (C) The parents of the seven children contacted Howe & Co as a result of reading reports in the newspapers in September about the Joanna Nash case. Joanna Nash suffered fatal food poisoning after eating McDonald's beefburgers in Spain and England.
    (D) If any other cases against MAFF are instituted for E.coli 0157 food poisoning, liability will be dealt with by Howe & Co. The firm might therefore be dealing with some of the legal cases arising out of the recent food poisoning outbreak in Lanarkshire.

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