Multi‐country outbreak of Salmonella Poona infections linked to consumption of infant formula
An outbreak of 32 Salmonella enterica serotype Poona cases in infants and young children has recently been identified in France (30 cases), Belgium (one case) and Luxembourg (one case). All 32 patients were infected with the same bacterial strain based on core genome multilocus sequence typing analysis. All patients had onset of symptoms between August 2018 and February 2019. Information from interviews was available for 30 patients. All consumed one of three rice‐based infant formula products from the same brand before onset of symptoms. The infant formula products were manufactured between August and October 2018 by the Spanish processing company B and marketed by the French company A. The products were distributed to French wholesalers, retailers and pharmacies who sold them to several EU, EFTA and other countries through wholesalers, on‐line shops or the e‐commerce operator A. In addition, the French company A distributed the products to four countries outside of Europe. All samples of the implicated batches were negative for S. Poona. Moreover, S. Poona has not been detected in the production environment of the Spanish processing company B or in any other product dehydrated in the same drying tower since 2017. A recall and withdrawal of infant formula products and baby food of the same brand was initiated on 24 January 2019 by the French company A in France and this was followed by a recall in Luxembourg. Public warnings were released in France, Belgium and Spain, and the e‐commerce operator A informed all customers. Recalls and public messaging were also implemented in response to an INFOSAN alert in several non‐European countries where the products had been distributed. Such measures should decrease the risk of new infections. However, additional cases may be reported, particularly among those having consumed the implicated products already sold and not recalled.