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Deaths could be linked to salmonella in SFC chicken’s boneless buckets

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THE FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY has issued an urgent warning about a chicken product sold in food stores across Wales.

The agency has recalled three chicken products for possible salmonella contamination.

The products affected are SFC chicken’s boneless bucket and poppets and Vestey Food’s Chick Inn jumbo chicken nuggets

Five people are suspected to have died and hundreds more, including children, became seriously ill after eating contaminated chicken imported from Poland.

The processed chicken products are typically bought by parents as a cheap and easy meal for children. Some 44 per cent of victims were aged 16 or under.

The meat was turned into cheap frozen nuggets and breaded chicken products sold by major supermarkets across the UK over the past year.

Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have been selling the products for months while the Vestey nuggets have been sold through hundreds of Heron Foods stores, B&M, and B&M Express.

Some 480 people are known to have fallen ill with salmonella poisoning with more than one in three becoming so sick they needed hospital treatment.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning over the consumption of two SFC chicken products – which use packaging that mimics KFC – Take Home Boneless Bucket and Chicken Poppets.

There also been a recall of Chick Inn 32 Jumbo Chicken Nuggets, made by Vestey Foods.

Head of the Gastrointestinal Pathogens of the National Infection Service, Saheer Gharbia, said: “Salmonella generally causes a mild illness, although vulnerable groups like children under five years, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illness and may require hospitalisation.

“Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance.”

Chief operating officer of the Food Standards Agency, Colin Sullivan, said: “Our advice is to always take care when storing, handling and cooking these types of frozen breaded chicken products to help reduce the risk of food poisoning to you and your family.

“You should always check the cooking instructions on food packaging, as different brands of the same product might have different instructions. Cooking food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed.”

SFC, which is based in Merseyside, apologised and said it would like to “assure customers of our continuing commitment to the highest standard of quality and safety”

Public health watchdogs say the salmonella infection has been recorded as a contributory cause of death in at least one case.

A further four deaths have been linked to the outbreaks, although it is not clear whether salmonella infection was a factor for those.

Vestey, which is based in Croydon, confirmed salmonella had been found in the Chick Inn nuggets product.

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Trial date for son accused of killing mum

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THE SON of Judith Rhead, 68, who was found dead in her home in Market Street, Pembroke Dock on Feb 20 will now appear in Crown Court again in October.

Dale Morgan, 43, said to be a scout master, appeared in court only to confirm his name, date of birth and address – which was listed as Honeyborough Green, Neyland.

A plea and trial preparation hearing date was set for March 26 with a provisional trial date set for October 4.

He was remanded in custody.

In court papers it stated that the alleged murder took place between December 10, 2020 and February 21, 2021.

The paperwork demonstrates that the police are unsure of the exact date that Ms Rhead died. The large date range, two months, points to the likelihood that this will be a challenging case for all those involved.

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Launch of Haverfordwest Castle Conservation Management Plan

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MEMBERS of the public are being asked to help shape the future of Haverfordwest Castle as a draft Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is launched.

One of Pembrokeshire’s most important historical assets, the Castle is owned by Pembrokeshire County Council, which has produced the CMP.

The plan:

▪ sets out the significance of the castle and describes how the building will be protected with any new use, alteration, repair or management; 

▪ will help with the planning of maintenance, conservation and repair work and adaptation of the site to meet new or changing uses; 

▪ will help promote understanding of the site and look at improving public access and activities for local people and visitors; 

▪ will support proposals to conserve the castle and adaptations of the site in response to climate change; 

▪ and underpin funding applications to support improvements

An engagement exercise has been launched alongside the Plan, giving members of the public with an interest in the historic and/or environmental significance of the castle an opportunity to comment on the document and share their views.

To take part in the engagement exercise, please click on the following link: 

https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/regeneration-communities

The deadline for responses is Sunday, March 28, 2021.

 

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Natural Resources Wales approves Ireland-UK interconnector licence

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GREENLINK INTERCONNECTOR LIMITED says it welcomes the decision by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to approve its application for a Marine Licence for the Greenlink electricity interconnector project, which will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland.

An important project for Pembrokeshire, and the UK as a whole, NRW’s go-ahead is one of several consents required for the construction of the project and covers installation of the marine cable in UK waters.

The approval is a major milestone for Greenlink and joins the onshore planning consents granted unanimously in July last year by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Greenlink’s proposed 190km subsea and underground electricity cable will run beneath the Irish Sea to connect National Grid’s Pembroke Power Station in Wales and EirGrid’s Great Island substation in County Wexford, Ireland. It will have a nominal capacity of 500 MW.

The Wales-Ireland link is just one of four interconnectors being installed

Nigel Beresford, CEO for Greenlink Interconnector Limited, said: “We are delighted by Natural Resources Wales’s decision to grant this licence. This marks a significant milestone for Greenlink and another important step towards project construction, which we expect to commence later this year.

“The Greenlink team has worked constructively with Natural Resources Wales and Welsh marine stakeholders to find workable solutions to the many technical and environmental challenges facing a large infrastructure project like this, and this has been reflected in the quality of the final proposal.

“The thorough environmental and technical assessments we have undertaken, supported by the practical and value-adding feedback we have received from key marine stakeholders, have ensured that we move forward confident that we are delivering a well-designed project with the interests of the Welsh marine habitat at its core.”

The subsea section of the cable will be approximately 160km in length and uses high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. The preferred route and installation methods were chosen following the conclusion of subsea surveys and consultation with key stakeholders.

In Ireland, a Foreshore Licence application was submitted to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Foreshore Unit) in 2019 and the onshore planning application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in December 2020.

Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects and brings benefits on both sides of the Irish Sea for energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy. The project will offer important local supply chain opportunities and plans are being drawn up for ‘meet-the-buyer’ events in the local area prior to construction.

Once fully consented, Greenlink is expected to have a three-year construction programme, with commissioning planned by the end of 2023.

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