E. coli veggie burger and chips put Welsh mum in a coma
Posted: March 29th, 2010 - 11:29am
A young mum has revealed how a veggie burger and portion of chips contaminated with E. coli O157 almost killed her.
Abby Alford of Wales on Sunday writes that days after enjoying the chip shop takeaway, desperately ill Karen Morrisroe had a seizure that temporarily stopped her heart.
Doctors warned her husband she had a less than 10% chance of survival as she slipped into a coma that was to last for five weeks.
The recovering 32-year-old has now revealed to Wales on Sunday that she is unable to sue the chip shop that almost claimed her life because the owner was not insured.
The librarian, who lives with her husband Paul Clutton and baby son Oliver, almost one, in Rhosnesni, Wrexham, said,
“There’s nothing I can do. He did not have professional liability insurance, but I’ve been told he wasn’t required to have it anyway. Environmental health are looking into legal proceedings, but we don’t know if they can do anything.”
Karen said her brush with death has had such a deep psychological effect on her that she compulsively checks restaurants’ food hygiene ratings on the Internet before eating out.
Karen and Paul are also fighting to raise awareness of how dirty premises like the Llay Fish Bar, which was identified as the likely source of the potentially deadly bug, can cost lives.
“The mind boggles as to how many establishments have zero star ratings but are still allowed to operate,” said Paul.
Star ratings from zero, the lowest, to five are a hygiene score awarded by environmental health inspectors. The Llay Fish Bar had been awarded zero stars in August 2008 and was due for another inspection when Karen and other customers, including toddler Abigail Hennessey, fell ill.
Premises given zero stars are generally allowed to remain open while they take steps to improve cleanliness.