E.coli outbreak: Public warned not to eat specific product recalled as 'precautionary measure'

A third company has begun a recall over fears of possible E.coli contamination - with customers being urged to avoid eating a specific product.

Vegan chicken and bacon wraps sold only at WHSmith have been pulled from the shelves, and anyone who purchased them can return to the store for a full refund.

THIS - the food manufacturer that makes it - said the recall applies to all wraps bought up to and including Tuesday 18 June.

While no E.coli has been found in the product, the company explained this is a "precautionary measure" in case ingredients are contaminated.

Health officials have been working to track down the source of the current E.coli outbreak, as this particular strain can make people very ill.

The latest figures show 211 cases have been confirmed as of 11 June - and at least 67 people have required hospital treatment.

Last week, two other manufacturers recalled a variety of sandwiches, wraps and salads sold in major British supermarkets.

You can find a list of products affected by that recall here.

Greencore Group says it "adheres to the highest standards of food safety", adding: "We are working closely with the Food Standards Agency and our suppliers to better understand the possible source of any potential issue."

Samworth Brothers Manton Wood explained the supplier of a salad ingredient it uses in a small number of products had been advised to undertake a product withdrawal and recall.

"A small number of sandwich and wrap lines that are made at our Manton Wood site are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure a high level of health protection for consumers. No other Manton Wood products are affected," a spokesperson added.

Read more: What are the warning signs? Everything you need to know

E.coli bacteria are normally harmless and live in the intestines of humans and animals - but this strain is known as Shiga toxin-producing E.coli, or STEC for short.

Which? head of consumer protection policy Sue Davies told Sky News: "The FSA and UK Health Security Agency must get to the bottom of how this widespread outbreak has happened and take all action necessary to prevent any more people from becoming ill. It shows how we can never afford to be complacent with our food safety and food standards."

Trish Mannes from the UK Health Security Agency says symptoms can include "severe and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever".

Some cases cause serious complications that can lead to kidney failure.

People are being advised to follow NHS.uk guidance if they become unwell.

"Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using disinfectants to clean surfaces will help stop any further spread of infection," Ms Mannes added.

People who might be infected also should not prepare food for others and avoid work or school until 48 hours after symptoms stop.