I write in relation to a Freedom of Information request made under the Freedom of Information Act 200.
I am currently undertaking a review of the microbiological data underpinning Public Health England’s report dated October 2020 entitled “Investigation into an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with hospital provided free prepared sandwiches, UK May to July 2019” (the “Report”). A copy of the Report is enclosed for ease of reference.
The report confirms that food, swab, packaging, and environmental samples from a sandwich preparation facility (identified as “Supplier X”), a meat preparation facility (identified as “Producer Y”) and NHS Trust Hospitals were undertaken and examined by Public Health England and local authority officers in the course of the investigation into the outbreak of listeriosis in 2019. The results of these samples underpin the report.
For each and every food sample taken by Public Health Wales during the course of this investigation, which underpins the report, I would be grateful if you could please provide the information listed below pursuant to this request:
a. A copy of the sample form completed and submitted to the laboratory;
b. Details of the date, time, and place of the sample taken;
c. The status (professional or otherwise) of the person procuring the sample;
d. Details of the packing and transport used for the sample from point of collection;
e. The temperature records relating to the receipt and storage of the sample product prior to the sample being collected.
f. The temperature history before and following the taking of the sample (including the temperature records at the point of collection and during transit from point of collection to the laboratory);
g. The date and time of delivery of the sample to the laboratory;
h. The identity of the laboratory which analysed the sample;
i. The date and time the sample was logged into the laboratory;
j. The date and time that the examination of the sample started and ended;
k. Full details of the methodology used during the examination process;
l. Completed certificates of examination; and
m. All correspondence regarding the sampling and results.
Full details and results are requested of any subsequent whole genome sequencing that was carried out on all isolates of Listeria monocytongenes.
Finally, page 6 of the PHE report refers to the sampling of a coronation chicken sandwich from Chepstow Hospital undertaken on 30 May 2019. The sandwich had been supplied by Supplier X using cooked chicken from Producer Y. With regard to this sandwich sample, I would be grateful if you would kindly provide all information requested at points a-m above, as well as the following details:
a. Confirmation that, at the time of sampling, the coronation chicken sandwich pack was unopened. If it was opened, details of the extent of the opening of the pack, including any drawings/photographs;
b. Confirmation of the use by date recorded at the time the sample was taken.
c. Copies of any temperature records pertaining to the sample, including those relating to the refrigeration unit in which the sample was stored (if applicable), and those relating to the sample at point of collection and during transit to the laboratory;
d. All correspondence specifically but not exclusively with the PHE Incident Management Team and Staffordshire Borough Council Environmental Health, including copies of emails, notes of conversations, telephone attendance notes related to the coronation chicken sample from the point of sampling on 30 May 2019 to the closure of Supplier X on 6 June 2019; and
e. Full details surrounding the confirmation of the use by date as 31 May 2019
Thank you for your recent request dated 31st July 2023
Unfortunately Public Health Wales does not hold this information. As an organisation we have no jurisdiction over the activities of other organisations and frequently do not have access to the data that they produce.
The Food Standards Agency may hold this information. I have provided contact details for them below, you would need to contact them individually for this information.
Food Standards Agency
I am very sorry we cannot help you on this occasion.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of the decision, you should write to the Corporate Complaints Manager, Public Health Wales NHS Trust, 3, Number 2, Capital Quarter, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4BZ.
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint or review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Trust. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner for Wales
Telephone: 029 2067 8400