On 29 April, North Lanarkshire Council Environmental Health announced that it, along with NHS Lanarkshire’s Department of Public Health and other agencies, was investigating nine confirmed and nine suspected cases of hepatitis A in North Lanarkshire.

All the patients, who were treated as Monklands Hospital, were "well and responding to treatment".

Initial investigations indicated that there could be a link to the JB Christie bakery in Airdrie and as a precaution, and in line with public health guidance, environmental health and public health staff were working with the bakery to carry out further investigations. As a precaution, the bakery owners had contacted the outlets it supplies asking them to withdraw their products from sale.

The bakery has since reopened following a "deep clean" and any fresh ingredients or foodstuffs disposed of.

Bakery owner Andrew Chisholm said: "Throughout this period of closure a team of environmental health officers were invited into the bakery to review all aspects, policies and working procedures and they were very satisfied with their findings and thanked us for our immediate reactions.

"The bakery employees have been very compliant with the requests from the health board to be fully screened and with almost immediate results stating that no employee was at any risk to the public to work within a food environment."

NHS Lanarkshire consultant Dr Josephine Pravinkumar praised the bakery for its co-operation.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection which leads to inflammation of the liver and can cause mild to severe illness. The infection will clear with time and there are no long term effects.

For further information on Hepatitis A visit Health Protection Scotland at: http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/giz/hepatitisa.aspx?subjectid=91

NHS Choices at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Hepatitis-A/Pages/Introduction.aspx