Nine cases of E.coli have been confirmed in Scotland and are under investigation.
These cases have all consumed various venison products including sausages, steaks and meatballs which were raw when purchased and cooked at home.
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is currently investigating the cases of the same strain of E. coli O157 PT32. HPS has been working with local health protection teams, Foods Standards Scotland and the Scottish E. coli O157/VTEC Reference Laboratory (SERL) to investigate these cases.
Initial investigations have established that a number of these case have consumed various venison products purchased raw from various shopping outlets and cooked at home, including venison sausages, grill steaks, steaks and meatballs.
Dr. Syed Ahmed, Consultant in Health Protection/Clinical Director, Health Protection Scotland, reminded consumers: “It is important that all deer meat should be cooked thoroughly and should not be eaten medium or rare. The risk of E. coli O157 infection can be reduced by careful hand washing, especially after contact with animals, handling raw meats, after going to the toilet and immediately before preparing or eating food and by making sure that food is always properly prepared.”
It’s especially important to make sure that venison steaks and sausages are cooked all the way through. If there’s any pink meat or the juices have any pink or red in them, E.Coli O157 germs could be present.
The incubation period for E. coli O157 is usually three to four days, although it can range from one to 14 days. Symptoms associated with E. coli O157 include stomach cramps, diarrhoea (often bloody), vomiting and fever. Anyone developing symptoms who has bloody diarrhoea or who is concerned about their symptoms should contact their GP or telephone NHS24 on 111 for advice.