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Beware of fake cigarettes containing arsenic, mould and rat droppings, say Trading Standards

Trading Standards warn about fake cigarettes
Credit: PA wire

Counterfeit cigarettes can contain arsenic, mould and rat droppings - according to Trading Standards in Leicester. These ingredients have been found in cigarettes they've seized.

They're warning about the dangers today with a live demonstration in Coalville, as they create cigarettes using some of the lethal ingredients tests have detected.

"Often the raw tobacco inside is mixed with potentially deadly chemicals and waste products. You wouldn't eat anything with rat droppings in it - so why would you smoke it?"

– Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for Trading Standards, Joe Orson

Trading Standards say the trade in illegal tobacco is used to fund organised crime gangs, and undercuts legitimate businesses, as well as endangering the health of those who buy them.

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East Midlands Ambulance service apologises for lost data

East Midlands Ambulance service has apologised to patients after losing more than 40 thousand patient reports on a data disk.

The information which was collected between September and November 2012, includes patient addresses, contact numbers and details of their medical conditions.

More details: East Midlands Ambulance Service loses patient data.

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Warning over illegal cigarettes 'containing excrement'

Illegal cigarettes seized in a crackdown on black market trade have been found to contain human excrement, council officials have warned.

PA Wire
Some fake cigarettes were found to contain human excrement. Credit: PA Wire

The Local Government Authority (LGA) said the illegal market is hampering efforts to reduce smoking, while many products posed a fire risk and cost the UK economy around £3 billion a year in unpaid duty.

In some cases fake cigarettes contained human excrement, rat droppings, asbestos and dead flies, the LGA said.

Hundreds of thousands of illegal cigarettes have been seized in Wolverhampton, Bristol and Nottingham, as part of the council's bid to tackle the practice.

Trading Standards Officers reported finding cigarettes inside vacuum cleaners, under floorboards and in toilet cisterns.

'Appalling' that system isn't in place to prevent loss of nearly 42,000 patient records

The daughter of a 94-year-old woman treated by East Midlands Ambulance Service this year says it's "appalling" that a system is not in place to prevent patient information being misplaced.

Jane Rogers' mother Janet came off her scooter earlier this year in Newark and had to wait several hours for the Ambulance Service to arrive.

She says both she and her mother would have been outraged if this had been her records.

East Midlands Ambulance Service says that extra staff training in data handling procedures is already underway and that their computer storage system is in the middle of being upgraded to improve security.

The data is thought to be from the period September 2012 and November 2012. If anyone was treated by the Service during this period and has concerns they can ring a helpline on 0115 884 5055.

Reaction to ambulance service loss of patient records

Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have commented on the loss of nearly 42,000 patient records by East Midlands Ambulance Service saying,

“This is not what we would expect from a well-run public service.”

– Martin Gawith, chairman of Healthwatch Nottingham, and Joe Pidgeon, chairman of Healthwatch Nottinghamshire

East Midlands Ambulance Service have apologised and say they're certain no-one outside the organisation would be able to access the data because it has to be read with a special type of equipment.

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Salmonella outbreak in Midlands could have been caused by batch of eggs from Europe

Salmonella outbreak could have stemmed from a single egg source
Credit: Martin Schutt/DPA/Press Association Images

The salmonella outbreak which affected 54 people in the West Midlands could have been caused by a single source of eggs, according to investigators from Public Health England.

The European-wide outbreak has been traced to a particular egg source which did supply catering companies in England, but it's not been confirmed that this caused the country's cases.

Nearly 250 people across Britain were affected by the sickness bug

"There is now evidence to indicate that cases in Europe with the same strains of salmonella infection were associated with consumption of eggs from a single source.

This egg supply also reached distributors and food outlets in England, but at this stage we cannot conclusively demonstrate this is the infection source in this country."

– Public Health England

Overall reporting of Salmonella cases reduced

The number of reported cases of Salmonella has reduced in the last week, according to Public Health England.

They say the additional cases reported in that time are not new infections over the last seven days, but they are historical cases reported during that week.

A total of 54 cases have now been reported in the West Midlands, which is up by 10 on last Friday.

A consultant at Public Health England has said investigations are getting closer to finding the source of the outbreak.

Investigations into the recent Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak are progressing, at both a national and European level.

There is now evidence to indicate that cases in Europe with the same strains of Salmonella infection were associated with consumption of eggs from a single source. This egg supply also reached distributors and food outlets in England, but at this stage we cannot conclusively demonstrate this is the infection source in this country.

We are continuing to work with the Food Standards Agency and public health organisations in Europe but, importantly, the decline in Salmonella case reporting this week alongside other elements of our investigations reassures us that the current risk to public health is low.

– Dr Paul Cleary, consultant epidemiologist at PHE

Read: Three patients with Salmonella die at Birmingham hospital

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