Multi-country outbreak of new Salmonella enterica 11:z41:e,n,z15 infections associated with sesame seeds
An outbreak of a new serovar of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica with antigenic formula 11:z41:e,n,z15, initially detected in Greece, affected 47 individuals in five European Union countries (the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom) between March 2016 and May 2017. Epidemiological and microbiological evidence linked some of the outbreak cases to a sesame paste produced by a Greek manufacturer. The sesame seeds used for the production of the sesame paste were traced back to an African country. The same Greek manufacturer also processed a batch of sesame seeds imported from another African country that tested Salmonella positive after processing. The most recent cases associated with this outbreak were reported in Germany and Luxembourg in March 2017. Since the withdrawal of the implicated sesame paste in March and April 2017, no new cases were reported. If new cases with the outbreak serovar are reported, competent authorities in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) should consider rapidly interviewing the cases to assess the exposures and attempt to identify potential links to the outbreak. In line with established procedures – and as carried out so far – new cases and important developments should be reported to EPIS-FWD (Epidemic Intelligence Information System for Foodand Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses) and to EWRS (Early Warning and Response System). The latter represents the official channel to notify cross-border threats. Information from food investigations should be shared by issuing relevant notifications in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). National public health and food safety authorities should exchange relevant information with each other.