Food poison bug killed pensioner

Law and order
Law and order
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A PENSIONER who died after contracting a common type of food poisoning was “probably” infected after eating shop-bought cooked chicken, an inquest heard.

Lily Charlesworth, 74, died in hospital on June 13 this year, over a month after she was taken to hospital with chronic diarrhoea.

She was admitted just days after eating pre-cooked chicken drumsticks, bought from a supermarket by her son, Alan Charlesworth.

Coroner, Dr Robert Hunter, said that because the chicken hadn’t been tested, it couldn’t be the certain cause of food poisoning, although he added it was “probable, if not likely, that the source was the chicken.”

Mrs Charlesworth – who suffered from sarcoidosis for many years – was admitted to Chesterfield Royal hospital by her GP in May, after complaining of severe diarrhoea. She was diagnosed with campylobacter food poisioning which, according to a statement read out at the inquest by Shrikant Ambalkar, consultant microbiologist at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, most people recover from in two to five days.

His statement added: “Young children and those over 60 are at greater risk. One mode of transmission is raw or uncooked meat especially poultry.”

Mrs Charlesworth, of Blandford Drive, Newbold, did not recover, and her condition gradually worsened until her death.

Dr Christopher Stonnard, pathologist at Chesterfield Royal hospital said the cause of Mrs Charlesworth’s death was campylobacter food poisioning, but he told the inquest: “It’s not clear why she didn’t respond to treatment or why it went on so long.”

Mrs Charlesworth’s son, Alan, told the Chesterfield inquest on Monday, that he would regularly do food shopping for his mum and would often buy her the precooked chicken drumsticks.

He said: “She ate them every week. We didn’t buy anything past the sell-by date. Even if it was on the sell-by date, my mother wouldn’t touch it.”

He also said that she would keep packs in the freezer, and once she had eaten one pack she would defrost another before eating it.

Dr Robert Hunter, coroner, recorded an open verdict into Mrs Charlesworth’s death.