THOUSANDS of people have been potentially exposed to the E.coli bug which has been linked to burgers sold at Glasgow's newest entertainment venue.
Health chiefs have confirmed a possible link between the virus, which causes severe diarrhoea and stomach cramps, and burgers sold at food outlets at the SSE Hydro on the banks of the Clyde.
One of the seven people to have contracted the bug lives in Cumbria, with the rest based in Scotland.
The dates when the virus may have been spread cover a period in the middle of last month that included dates at the Hydro for shows by Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear team, Del Amitri and Celtic Connections.
The £125million venue, which is also to be used in this summer's Commonwealth Games, has a capacity of 12,000, meaning up to 84,000 people attended the Hydro in that period.
All seven people affected are recovering at home. One of the cases is from the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, two are from Lanarkshire, three from NHS Lothian and one is from Cumbria.
Dr Gillian Penrice, consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHSGGC, said urged anyone who attended the venue between Friday January 17 and Saturday, January 25 and has experienced, or is suffering symptoms and fever to contact their GP or NHS out of hours service.
She said: "While there is no conclusive evidence, our initial investigations have indicated that there may be a link to the consumption of burgers at the SSE Hydro and Glasgow City Council Environmental Health Officers are working closely with the vendors to ensure all appropriate food hygiene standards are being met.
"I would ask anyone who has attended the Hydro recently and who has experienced or is experiencing symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and fever to contact their GP."
A Hydro spokesman said they wanted to assure the public they had "no significant concerns in relation to catering".
She said: "We have been contacted by the Environmental Health in relation to an investigation into an E-coli outbreak they believe may have been connected to one of the catering outlets on our premises.
"We are awaiting further details to establish the exact cause of this isolated incident.
"The initial review of our caterers' standard procedures have been found satisfactory and Environmental Health have seen nothing in their processes which concerns them."
A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said: "There is an association with the consumption of burgers at the Hydro but other food items are also being considered."
The Hydro will host gymnastics and netball at the Commonwealth Games.
Last year, Sainsbury's was at the centre of an E.coli outbreak after 18 pople, including one in Scotland, became ill.
It was forced to recall all of its own-brand bagged watercress.