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One Dead in Austria as EU is Hit by Salmonella Outbreaks

Three Salmonella outbreaks in Austria have been linked to chicken meat from Poland.

A total of 27 people have fallen sick and one has died in the trio of Salmonella Enteritidis incidents.

Investigation of the outbreaks is being carried out by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), the Ministry of Health and the relevant provincial authorities. Initial surveys point to poultry meat from Poland, which was used to produce kebab skewers, as the vehicle of infection.

First outbreak details
Since February, 14 people in Austria have become ill with a specific type of Salmonella Enteritidis. Patients with this strain have also been reported in Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.

From May to July, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) in Denmark recorded 15 people infected with the same type of Salmonella Enteritidis. Patients are seven men and eight women and live across the country. They are between 15 and 99 years old with a median age of 30.

Whole genome sequencing of bacteria isolated from patients showed they were very closely related and all belonged to sequence type 11, which is the most frequently detected Salmonella type in Denmark and the rest of Europe.

In Germany, there are six patients with five of these confirmed. Patients range in age from 9 to 58 years old. Five are male and the other is female. The first date of illness onset is December 2022. The latest reported date is mid-June 2023.

There were 65 infections associated with an English outbreak in 2023. For 43 cases linked to a restaurant, the mean age was 32 with a range of 6 to 61 and 17 were female. Epidemiological investigations suggested eggs or chicken as the likely cause.

The Netherlands has two cases that were notified in March 2022 and April 2023. Both are male and aged between 20 and 40 years old.

Norway has identified one patient, a female younger than 5, with a sampling date in March 2023. There is no information on travel history or possible exposures.

Other outbreaks
The second Austrian outbreak involves another cluster type of Salmonella Enteritidis. A total of seven people have fallen sick since April and one has died.

Investigations into the second incident uncovered another Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak that was responsible for a further six cases in Austria. Related infections have also been reported in Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.

In the Netherlands, there are eight patients aged 16 to 68 with a median age of 56. Three are male and five are female. People fell sick between September 2020 and July 2023.

In Belgium, there are eight patients possibly related to the outbreak reference strain. The most recent case was isolated in January 2023 from a 49-year old man; the other seven were isolated between January and September 2022 and ranged from 6 to 79 years old. Three were male and four were female.

Source : Food Safety News



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