BRITS have be warned of a surge in cases of a deadly bug found in ready-to-eat chicken, wraps and sandwiches.
In the UK, 81 people have been infected with the bacteria salmonella and one person has died, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The cases are part of a wider outbreak of the bug in which 196 infections have been reported across Europe, Israel and the UK.
The EDPC said there are "several" food distributors implicated in passing on the bug, meaning new cases are "likely to occur" until the "common source" is discovered.
Speaking to The Sun, Prof Paul Wigley, an expert in animal microbial ecosystems at the University of Bristol said while the source of the outbreak remains "unclear" it's hard to say which chicken – fresh or pre-cooked – people should avoid.
"However, given both the risk of salmonella and more frequently campylobacter, another food poisoning bacterium, on raw chicken, it should be handled with care and hygienic practice in the kitchen and all poultry meat should be thoroughly cooked before consumption," he said.
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Salmonella is a bacteria that is found in digestive system's of chickens and is mostly spread to humans who eat infected chicken meat.
Around 8,000-10,000 cases are recorded in England and Wales each year.
There are over 2,000 strains of the nasty bug, most of which cause food poisoning in humans and some deaths in young children, the elderly and people with weaker immune systems.
Dr Lesley Larkin, of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said the cases had emerged from "different parts of the UK".
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"We are working with colleagues of other affected countries alongside ECDC to identify the source of the outbreak," she said.
According to the NHS the 6 symptoms of food poisoning include:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
- stomach cramps
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- feeling generally unwell – such as feeling tired or having aches and chills
The symptoms usually start within a few days of eating the food that caused the infection.
Sometimes they start after a few hours or not for a few weeks.
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