Widow calls for greater awareness of salmonella after husband died from duck eggs bought at country show

A RETIRED retail manager who died after eating four duck eggs bought at a country show would have had salmonella diagnosed sooner if he had been taken to hospital by an ambulance crew when he called for help, a jury has found.

Niptoon Tavakoli
Niptoon Tavakoli

The family of Niptoon Tavakoli, 65, called for a greater understanding of the dangers of salmonella after a four-day inquest.

Mr Tavakoli died in hospital two months after becoming ill after eating eggs bought from a stall at Messingham Show, in North Lincolnshire, on June 2, 2019.

He first called an ambulance on June 7 after suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, but the crew decided to not to take him to hospital, instead giving him advice.

Niptoon and Cheryl Tavakoli

His wife Cheryl told the inquest how she called an ambulance again on June 10 as she was very concerned about her husband, fearing he may have developed sepsis. She said he had mottling on his body, and his lips and his nails had turned blue.

The same ambulance crew attended and this time took him to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Mrs Tavakoli described how parts of her husband’s body had turned black by the time he arrived at the hospital.

The jury found that “mandatory policy should have been followed and he should have been transferred straight to hospital” the first time the paramedics were called to the house in Lindholme, near Doncaster.

It said an admission on June 7 “would have led to him being treated for sepsis and diagnosed with salmonella sooner”.

The jurors said that the opportunity to administer antibiotics within the first hour was missed and this contributed to “his prospect of survival”.

Mrs Tavakoli described how her husband, who also worked in the catering business for many years, ate the four eggs with toast in two separate meals, in each case frying them really well.

Intensive care specialist Dr Jon Maskill told the inquest that Mr Tavakoli’s infection was one of the worst cases he had ever seen.

The jury concluded that Mr Tavakoli died of natural causes.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Tavakoli said: “It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe the impact Niptoon’s death has had on our family.

“He was such a caring and fun person who loved spending time with his family and friends but also antique hunting and collecting coins.

“While nothing can bring him back we take some small comfort from at least being able to honour his memory by now establishing the answers Niptoon deserved.

“However, we feel we need to speak out to raise awareness of the dangers of not only salmonella but sepsis. People have probably heard of sepsis but I’m not sure everyone is fully aware of how dangerous it is.”

Mrs Tavakoli said Niptoon had worked in the catering business and knew the importance of good hygiene, adding: “That he contracted salmonella even with his knowledge shows that other could fall ill after eating them.

Signs of sepsis include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering and muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said the Yorkshire Ambulance Service has admitted liability for Niptoon’s death.

Solicitor Catherine Slattery said they welcomed steps taken by the ambulance service to improve sepsis awareness among its staff.