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Listeria outbreak: Derbyshire man named as victim

A cancer patient whose death has been linked to the listeria outbreak has been named.

Ian Hitchcock, 52, was being treated at Derby’s Royal Hospital after being diagnosed with liver cancer last month.

In a statement, the businessman’s family said he contracted listeria and was transferred to Nottingham City Hospital, where he died on 8th June.

Derby Coroner’s Court said Mr Hitchcock’s death was being treated as a “possible listeria case”.

His family has reportedly said that he ate a contaminated sandwich.

Mr Hitchcock’s brother Alan, 54, told the paper: “When he went into hospital, I thought he would soon be back at work. I didn’t think he would die because of the food.

Five people have died after nine cases linked to pre-packed sandwiches and salads eaten by patients were confirmed at eight hospitals in seven NHS Trusts.

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The other hospitals include Leicester Royal Infirmary and two hospitals in Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, along with hospitals in Liverpool, Manchester and Wrexham.

The food involved has been withdrawn and Public Health England (PHE) says the risk to the public remains low.

Products from the Staffordshire-based Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS Trusts, have been withdrawn and production halted.

North Country Cooked Meats and North Country Quality Foods, which it distributed through, have also voluntarily ceased production.

PHE said evidence suggested affected patients ate the products before 25 May.

The Food Standards Agency said its investigation is looking into the whole food supply chain, including transport.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people.

However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

The BBC has contacted the Royal Derby Hospital for a comment.

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