UK: Progress in Salmonella Enteritidis PT 14b investigation
Posted: July 31st, 2011 - 1:28pm
Source: Health Protection Agency
A multi-agency investigation established a link between a batch of imported eggs and an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Phage Type (PT) 14b infection in England and Wales.
One hundred and 74 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis PT 14b infection have been reported since the beginning of this year, the majority being in North West England (77 cases) and the West Midlands (35 cases).
Dr. Joe Kearney, a director with the HPA and chairman of the outbreak control team (OCT), said: "A strain of Salmonella Enteritidis PT 14b that was indistinguishable from samples taken from human cases was isolated from a small number of eggs that carried the same batch number.
"The batch number indicated that the eggs had come from a specific shed on one farm in Spain. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) alerted the Spanish authorities and measures were taken to eliminate the risk of contamination from that source, including the culling of an implicated flock of hens, the cleaning of the shed and heat treatment of eggs to kill any Salmonella that may have been present.
"No eggs with the implicated batch number have been imported to this country since the end of June. The FSA alerted Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) in England and Wales to the situation, checks were made and continue to be made on the distribution chain and implicated eggs that were found to be still in the system were withdrawn from sale.
"We expect that these developments will have a significant impact in curtailing the outbreak, but in the meantime our investigations are continuing."