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200 people fall sick amid fears of salmonella outbreak after spicy food festival in NewcastleFour cases of salmonella confirmed after hundreds fall ill with diarrhoeaInvestigation has been launched by Environmental health Officers
The source of the infection at charity festival not yet identified
21:54 GMT, 7 March 2013
08:18 GMT, 8 March 2013
Around 200 people who attended a spicy food street festival have reported suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting amid fears of a salmonella outbreak, a council spokesman said today.
Early tests have shown four people proved positive for salmonella following the Street Spice festival in Newcastle’s Times Square last week.
Environmental health Officers and the Health Protection Agency investigated after scores of people fell ill.
Of the 12,000 people who visited the festival, which is in aid of Brain Tumour UK, around 200 are estimated to be ill
As most people visited multiple stalls it is not yet known the source of the outbreak of salmonella
A spokesman said: 'In the first batch of tests, four people have proved positive for salmonella. Further results will be available in due course.
'It is estimated that of the 12,000 people who attended the event, up to 200 have reported sickness.'
Festival goers took to social networking sites to complain about the infection. Joerg Bergner said: 'I went with friends on Thursday, I have been feeling ill since yesterday, we all have diarrhoea.'
Lisa Fleming Ramage said: 'My husband has been very ill since Sunday. He only ate from one stall. I'm just sad that this has happened.'
Adam Crampsie said: 'Myself and 3 friends that visited have been very ill for 2 days.
'Hearing from quite a few people that have been ill following [the festival], looks like environmental health are going to be busy!'
Colin Greaves seemed undeterred by the risk of illness. He said: 'Had a few mates who felt a tad dodgy after the event but you know what Wouldn't put me off going again. Had a great time and thought it was well organised and a lot of fun.'
In statements made from the official Twitter account of the festival, event organisers said the festival, which is in aid of Brain Tumour UK, 'won't ever happen again'.
Organisers said: 'It's a real shame as people have asked us to do another one in July!
'10,000 people came through the doors but the sad thing is I have heard of about 60 people who haven't been well.'
The Street Spice festival in Newcastle ran from February 28 to March 2 and offered many types of cuisine
Stephen Savage, director of regulatory services and public protection at Newcastle City Council, said: 'The event organisers are cooperating fully and we are continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.
'Please can anyone with symptoms contact Regulatory Services and Public Protection at the City Council on 0191 278 7878.'
Dr Kirsty Foster, of the Health Protection Agency and chair of the outbreak control team, said: 'Initial investigations have not yet identified a definite source of infection, however, we are working closely with the organisers of the event to determine the source of infection.
'Anyone who is concerned about symptoms suggesting salmonella infection should contact their GP or out-of-hours service in the first instance.
'Those affected should not return to their place of work until their symptoms have ceased for 48 hours.'
Most people recover from salmonella without treatment, but occasionally the illness can become more serious and require hospital admission.