Food bug warning for Sidmouth over 60s

PUBLISHED: 14:53 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:36 18 June 2010

SIDMOUTH S over 60 s are more likely to take risks with use by dates than younger people, according to new research published by the Food Standards Agency.

SIDMOUTH'S over 60's are more likely to take risks with 'use by' dates than younger people, according to new research published by the Food Standards Agency.

'Use by' dates are different from others that appear on products.

It's not illegal for shops to sell food after its 'best before', 'sell by' or 'display until' date, but eating food beyond its 'use by' date increases the risk of food poisoning from the listeria food bug.

The number of cases of listeria in people over 60 years of age has doubled in the past nine years, with a 20 per cent rise in 2007 alone.

East Devon District Council's environmental health team is warning older residents that listeria can be serious and, although the number of cases is relatively small, one in three people who get food poisoning caused by it die as a result.

The bug, which is impossible to spot in contaminated products, can be found in chilled, ready to eat foods such as pre-packed sandwiches, butter, cold meats and smoked salmon.

Residents have been urged to reduce risk by always keeping food by following what is says on the label and ensuring their fridges are cold enough.

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