The story that a pensioner who fell ill from salmonella is threatening to sue Cadbury Schweppes has received much media attention in the UK, but Cadbury has emphasised that a link has yet to be established between any case of salmonella and the company’s chocolates.

Catherine Henderson, 62, from Larne, Co Antrim, spent five days in hospital after she was infected with the same salmonella strain – Montevideo – that prompted Cadbury’s recent recall of over one million chocolate bars. Mrs Henderson claims that she ate a Cadbury Caramel bar at the end of May and became ill within 48 hours.

Cadbury recalled seven varieties of chocolate last month after it reported its detection of salmonella contamination to the UK’s Food Standards Agency. The company had been aware of the problem since January, but delayed because it felt levels of contamination were not high enough to qualify as a health risk.

There have been 31 diagnosed cases of salmonella Montevideo in England and Wales since the infected chocolates were on sale to the public, but the Health Protection Authority has not established a link between contamination at Cadbury and the rise in the number of people infected with salmonella Montevideo.

“We’re sorry to hear that Mrs Henderson has been ill and hope she’s feeling better,” Cadbury said.

“However we would point out that, while we continue to work closely with the Food Standards Agency and local authorities, no link has been found between any incident of salmonella illness and our products,” the company continued.