Salmonella: Symptoms explained as European outbreak reaches UK shores and 110 Brits fall ill
Hundreds of people - including 110 Brits - have fallen ill following a salmonella outbreak in mainland Europe.
Between January and October this year, there have been 335 reported cases of salmonella, linked to a multi-country outbreak of three types of salmonella enteritidis. Now, scientists from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The cases, connected to chicken and chicken meat products - like kebabs - have been recorded in Europe, the UK and USA.
The ECDC said: "Given the information collected, contaminated chicken kebab and chicken meat are the plausible vehicles of the human infections reported in these three clusters. In the absence of conclusive microbiological evidence and comprehensive traceability, the role of the identified final producers, their meat suppliers, and the possible involvement of other food business operators as sources of the infections could not be confirmed or excluded.
"Further investigations are needed to identify the root cause of the contamination and the source of infections, which is crucial for prompt implementation of targeted effective control and corrective measures. As the source(s) have not been identified, new cases are likely to occur in this prolonged multi-country outbreak."
So far, food safety authorities in Europe have investigated 10 food products, seven final producers in Poland and one in Austria. No microbiological evidence of a contamination at their facilities has been found. The links to the suspected salmonella kebab suggests one or more sources of contamination in Austria, Denmark, and Italy.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said: "Scientists expect that new cases are likely to occur in this multi-country outbreak as the source has not yet been identified. EFSA and ECDC experts recommend further investigations to identify the potential locations within the chicken meat production chain where the contamination may have occurred."
Salmonella is typically found in meat, eggs and poulty, as it develops inside birds and farm animals.