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Cancer patient named as listeria victim
Cancer patient named as listeria victim

A cancer patient whose death has been linked to the listeria outbreak has been named.

Ian Hitchcock, 52, was being treated at Derby's Royal Hospital after being diagnosed with liver cancer last month.

In a statement, the businessman's family said he contracted listeria and was transferred to Nottingham City Hospital, where he died on 8 June.

The hospital said it offered its "sincere condolences to Mr Hitchcock's family".

Derby Coroner's Court said Mr Hitchcock's death was being treated as a "possible listeria case".

His family has reportedly said that he ate a contaminated sandwich.

Mr Hitchcock's brother Alan told the BBC he was "shocked and distraught" to hear of his death.

The pair set up a haulage business together in 1984 and worked closely ever since.

He said his brother had rarely taken time off and was a trained mechanic who was passionate about old motorbikes.

Mr Hitchcock described his brother as a "hard-working family man".

The 54-year-old previously told The Times newspaper : "When he went into hospital, I thought he would soon be back at work. I didn't think he would die because of the food."

Five people have died after nine cases linked to pre-packed sandwiches and salads eaten by patients were .

The other hospitals include Leicester Royal Infirmary and two hospitals in Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, along with hospitals in Liverpool, Manchester and Wrexham.

The food involved has been withdrawn and Public Health England (PHE) says the risk to the public remains low.

Products from the Staffordshire-based Good Food Chain, which supplied 43 NHS Trusts, have been withdrawn and production halted.

North Country Cooked Meats and North Country Quality Foods, which it distributed through, have also .

PHE said evidence suggested affected patients ate the products before 25 May.

The Food Standards Agency said its investigation is looking into the whole food supply chain, including transport.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people.

However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

Cathy Winfield, executive chief nurse and director of infection prevention and control at Royal Derby Hospital, said it had been working with Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency and NHS England since the outbreak was identified.

"[We] immediately removed all products once we were notified," she said.

She added she could not comment on Mr Hitchcock's care until the inquest into hid death had concluded.

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