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Multi-country outbreak of Salmonella Stanley infections Update

EFSA Journal 2012;10(9):2893[16 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2893
European Food Safety Authority Contact biohaz@efsa.europa.eu
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Type: Scientific Report of EFSA On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2012-00813,EFSA-Q-2012-00814 Approved: 20 September 2012 Published: 21 September 2012 Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Parma Italy, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Stockholm Sweden
Abstract

No abstract available

Summary
  • An outbreak of Salmonella Stanley infection involving 167 confirmed and 254 probable cases is on-going in several Member States of the European Union (EU). As cases do not have travel history outside the EU within the usual incubation period for salmonellosis, these findings strongly suggest a multi-state outbreak currently taking place in several countries in the EU. The descriptive epidemiology of human cases indicates a transmission originating from a persistent common source or multiple sources in the EU that are contaminated with isolates indistinguishable by XbaI-PFGE.
  • Food and veterinary investigations conducted in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary identified an indistinguishable XbaI-PFGE fingerprint and a common resistance to nalidixic acid with concomitant decreased susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, among isolates originating from the turkey production chain (turkeys and turkey meat). Isolates with indistinguishable PFGE patterns were also detected in some cases from broiler flocks (breeding and fattening chicken flocks) and meat from other animal species (broiler meat, beef and pork.)
  • The epidemiological and microbiological information gathered through the public health, food and veterinary investigations strongly suggest that the turkey production chain is the source of the outbreak. However, the contribution of other food and animal sources, such as beef, pork and broiler meat to the outbreak cannot be ruled out.
  • As control measures have not yet been implemented to remove the source of infection and potential food vehicles from the market, it is likely that additional human cases of S. Stanley infections will be reported in EU Member States.
  • It is important to highlight that persons working in the food chain at all levels (from production to catering) as well as consumers should be very strict with personal (hand washing) and food hygiene (avoid cross-contamination between ready-to-eat and raw meat) when handling raw turkey meat.
  • ECDC, EFSA and the EU Salmonella Reference Laboratory are encouraging all Member States to perform PFGE analysis on food, animal and human S. Stanley isolates from 2011 and 2012, and to submit their data to ECDC (fwd@ecdc.europa.eu). This will provide information on the diversity of S. Stanley in the EU, allowing a more accurate assessment of the situation.
  • Further information on the trace-back and trace-forward of foods items in the food chain will be necessary to understand and assess the risk associated with this outbreak. In addition, this information will help in the identification of the primary source of the outbreak strain and to track the spreading along the food chain. This information would in turn help to define the risk management actions to be taken in order to control the contamination with this strain in the animal production and food chain. These targeted measures are expected to help control the outbreak and prevent further human cases.
  • As soon as the above information becomes available, ECDC and EFSA recommend that further actions should be taken by risk managers to detect and contain the S. Stanley infection in turkey production and the subsequent contamination of turkey meat, and when necessary,  in the broiler production chain.
Keywords

Salmonella Stanley, turkey meat, food-borne outbreak