Woman dies after eating cake

An 86 year old woman has died and at least 55 others have contracted food poisoning as a result of eating contaminated cake from a bakery in Uppsala.

The elderly woman and 25 other people fell ill after eating cake served at a funeral wake in the university town. Seven children also became sick when they were served the cake, a princess gateau, at a children’s party. There is also a strong possibility that the virus may have spread to many of the bakery’s other customers.

“We are reasonably sure we have located the source. The staff member who baked the cakes is the one who caused the contagion. The person in question had children at home sick with stomach illnesses. We are relatively sure that a calicivirus caused the spread,” said food hygiene inspector Karin Bergkvist.

The contagious calicivirus is often connected with the so-called winter vomiting disease, which preys on people with weak or depleted immune systems. Children and the elderly are often hardest hit.

Employers are responsible for ensuring that their customers do not risk infection from food prepared in their kitchens or bakeries. Accordingly, Uppsala’s Environmental Protection Office plans to report the bakery to the police.

“But as an employee you are obliged to inform your employer if there is a risk. Then it is up to the employer to make sure that people who shouldn’t handle food don’t handle food,” said Lars Plym Forsell from the National Food Administration.

When asked whether there are many cases of contagious diseases spreading via cakes, Plym Forsell told news agency TT, “Many, many, many. It’s a real classic. Especially if you use frozen raspberries as a garnish.”

The cake in question, known in Swedish as a princesstårta, contains thick layers of cream and sponge cake, and is covered in marzipan.