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Man ‘died after catching salmonella from duck eggs bought at Messingham Show’

Niptoon Tavakoli died from one of the worst cases of salmonella a hospital consultant has seen (PA)
Niptoon Tavakoli died from one of the worst cases of salmonella a hospital consultant has seen (PA)

A retired retail manager died from one of the worst cases of salmonella a hospital consultant has seen after eating four duck eggs he bought at a country show, an inquest was told.

Niptoon Tavakoli, 65, died in hospital two months after taking ill in June 2019, an inquest jury heard on Monday.

His wife, Cheryl, told Doncaster Coroner’s Court the pair bought six eggs from a stall at Messingham Show, in North Lincolnshire, during a family day out on Sunday June 2.

Mrs Tavakoli, 63, said her husband ate two of the eggs for his tea the day after.

He fried them and had them with toast, she said.

“He fried them really well,” she said. “He didn’t like eggs too runny.”

Mr Tavakoli decided to have two more eggs two days later, saying: “I really enjoyed those duck eggs, I’m going to have another two,” his wife said.

He cooked them the same way, she told the jury of seven women and four men.

On the Friday morning, Mrs Tavakoli said she woke to find her husband had been ill in the night with diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V).

She said she reluctantly made a trip to Essex due to a close family bereavement and, while she was away, her husband told her he had called for an ambulance.

Mrs Tavakoli said he told her paramedics gave him advice but did not take him to hospital.

She said she returned to their home in Lindholme, near Doncaster, the next day but her husband was still very unwell.

On the Monday morning – more than a week after the visit to the show – Mrs Tavakoli called 999 again as she was very concerned about her husband, fearing he may have developed sepsis, she told the hearing.

She said he had mottling on his body and his lips and his nails had turned blue.

The same paramedics attended and took him to Doncaster Royal Infirmary but Mrs Tavakoli said she was concerned about the crew’s attitude and that they did not travel under blue lights.

“They seemed quite rude to my husband – treated him like he was a fussy old man who just had D&V,” she said.

“But I was worried it was more serious. He was in a lot of pain.”

Mrs Tavakoli said there was further waiting in the emergency department and, by this time, her husband’s lips and nails had turned black.

She said he was eventually taken in for treatment after pleading with nurses.

Niptoon and Cheryl Tavakoli
Niptoon and Cheryl Tavakoli (PA)

Intensive care specialist Dr Jon Maskill said Mr Tavakoli was seriously ill by the time he was admitted.

He said: “This severity of salmonella, in my experience, is unusual.

“It’s not something you see a lot of.

“I’ve been doing intensive care for 27 years. He’s only the second person I’ve come across with this degree of salmonella.”

Dr Maskill said antibiotics were used to treat the illness but it was clear it was still in parts of Mr Tavakoli’s body despite the medication.

He said this happens in some severe cases and surgery is sometimes attempted to remove body parts harbouring the infection.

But the consultant said there was no prospect of Mr Tavakoli surviving surgery and he died from multi-organ failure caused by salmonella on August 12 2019.

Mrs Tavakoli explained how, when she realised the duck eggs might be responsible, she took the remaining two to hospital for analysis and then scrubbed her home, throwing away the cooking implements.

She said she “felt like they were ticking time bombs in my house”.

Mrs Tavakoli said her husband came to the UK from Iran when he was 19 and trained as a civil engineer but worked in retail management and catering before retiring three years ago.

She said: “I’d never seen him so fit as he was. He was happy.”

She added: “He was enjoying life and waiting for me to join him in his retirement. Lots of plans”.

The inquest is expected to last for five days.

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