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Salmonella outbreak at Cumbrian hotel linked to death of woman

19 July 2006

An elderly woman has died and 11 other people have fallen ill after a salmonella outbreak linked to a hotel in the Lake District.

The 98-year-old victim was one of a number of customers who ate Sunday lunch at the Hundith Hill Hotel near Cockermouth.

It is believed they all ate a tiramisu desert and the incident has led to health experts issuing a warning to caterers to be careful when using raw eggs.

Dr Nigel Calvert, of the North Cumbria Primary Care Trust, said: "The Hundith Hill has an impeccable reputation but it would appear they've just been very unlucky.

"There is infection in eggs from various bugs, although UK eggs are usually OK. If a recipe calls for raw eggs, we would advise that you use pasteurised, liquidised egg."

Tests have shown the illness was caused by salmonella entritidis. Symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and a high temperature, but the illness usually passes within a couple of days.

The 98-year-old woman from Keswick died after being taken to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. She was found to be suffering from salmonella, although an exact cause of death has yet to be established.

The case is being investigated by Allerdale Council, although the Hundith Hill Hotel has been allowed to continue trading since the outbreak.

The hotel is run by Phil and Joan Butterworth. A hotel spokeswoman declined to comment.

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