THE number of people hit by salmonella food poisoning, attributed to precooked chickens of the brands Pimpollo and Pollo Asado Sada, has now hit 52 in the Balearics and more than 500 across the country. The Balearic health ministry said that all the cases in the islands were in Majorca, except for 11 which occurred in Minorca, although they were Majorcan residents who had travelled to the neighbouring island taking the chicken with him. Antoni Pellicer, the director general of public health, said yesterday that his department was working on this food crisis in collaboration with the Food Safety Agency, the central health ministry and the government of Castile-La Mancha, as the company which produced the chicken is based in Lominchar, Toledo. Pellicer said that most of the people affected had suffered headaches, vomiting and diarrhea but only a few people had to be admitted to hospital.
The health ministry advises anyone who has products of the Sada brand at home not to consume them.
They should return them to the shop where they were bought.
According to Pellicer, 19'000 Pimpollo and Pollo Asado Sada products were distributed in the Balearics in June and 21'000 in July. About 5'000 have been withdrawn from sale, but the authorities say that the rest has probably been consumed, without causing any health problems. The latest research shows that the contaminated chicken had been packaged between July 6 and 19.
The company said yesterday that the cause of the contamination had been located in one of the tubes which dispenses the sauce for the chickens at its plant in Lominchar. The Spanish consumer watchdog UCE announced yesterday that it has set up a network of offices and infrastructures to channel complaints by those affected by the salmonella. It has establieshed contacts with the director general of consumer affairs in Castile-La Mancha, and with the company involved, and is working to establish a framework for compensation. A spokesperson recommended victims to keep receipts for additional expenses such as transport, telephone, medicines, connected with the food poisoning in order to calculate the corresponding compensation.

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