E. coli outbreak: Legal action against Tesco and Asda after man and 11-year-old girl fall ill

The E. coli outbreak has been linked to sandwiches, wraps and salads sold in major supermarkets. Credit: PA

An 11-year-old girl at risk of "permanent kidney damage" and a man who fell ill in the E. coli outbreak has started legal action against supermarkets Tesco and Asda for compensation.

Legal firm Fieldfisher, representing a girl from the North West and a man from the South East, has sent letters of claim for violations of the Consumer Protection Act due to own-brand sandwiches purchased in the supermarkets.

The firm said the claim against Asda is related to a girl who has been on dialysis for three weeks after consuming an own-brand chicken salad sandwich purchased at one of its stores and contracting E. coli.

“The girl, aged 11, developed the serious condition haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which attacks the kidneys and has been on dialysis for three weeks,” it said.

“She was discharged home two days ago but could be at risk of permanent kidney damage. Her mother bought three of the sandwiches as part of an online delivery.”

A legal director at the firm, Harvinder Kaur, said she had issued a separate letter to Tesco on behalf of an adult man from the South East who was hospitalised with E. coli symptoms after eating Tesco-branded sandwiches containing salad.

“Luckily, this client did not go on to develop HUS and is now home, but for a time he was seriously ill,” she said.

“Under the Act, companies producing food must ensure it is safe to eat. If it causes illness, it is a breach of their duty and those injured are eligible to claim compensation, not least to fund possible ongoing medical care.

“My client was a regular shopper at Tesco, buying his lunch there most days since it was very close to his work.”

An Asda spokesperson told ITV News: "We have not yet received any letter from Fieldfisher regarding these claims, as soon as we do we will review the details of the claim as a matter of urgency.”

ITV News understands that Tesco has also currently not received a claim from Fieldfisher.

On Thursday, The UK Health Security Agency said one patient had died in the E. coli outbreak, which investigators believe is linked to salad used in sandwiches.

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