Swedish Salmonella outbreak from Polish eggs

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Mamuka Gotsiridze
©iStock/Mamuka Gotsiridze

Related tags S. enteritidis Chicken Salmonella

At least 12 people have been sickened by Salmonella in Sweden from eggs from Poland.

Folkhalsomyndigheten said the confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported during August and September.

“A group the outbreak cases got infected when they ate sauce béarnaise at a restaurant in Kalmar. The sauce was made from eggs and contains the outbreak strain,” ​the agency told us. 

Other people in Blekinge have fallen ill with the same Salmonella type and there is a link to the consumption of raw eggs.

Traceback investigation

The Public Health Agency of Sweden added it is too early to say the outbreak is over.

Illness onset dates range from 25 July to 29 August and outbreak cases are from the counties Kalmar and Blekinge.

Age range of cases is 0-86 years and 67% are men. The number of hospitalisations is not yet known but no deaths have been reported.

Eggs have primarily been sold to small shops and tracking is ongoing to see if they were sold in other parts of the country.

Of the 3,000-4,000 cases reported annually in Sweden, 80% are infected abroad.

The company that sells the eggs is W. Z Frukt och Grönt AB in Eslöv.

The municipality's food inspectors have prohibited the company from selling or importing food and demanded it recalls eggs still on the market.

Companies from other countries selling eggs to Sweden must send a certificate that they are from a place tested and free from Salmonella.

Livsmedelsverket (National Food Agency) said the contaminated batch of eggs made it onto the market as the company went to Poland and brought them back without having the correct certificate.

Link to ongoing EU-wide outbreak?

The outbreak has multiple locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) profile 2-10-7-3-2.

An ongoing outbreak of S. Enteritidis phage type (PT) 8, which has MLVA profiles 2-9-7-3-2 and 2-9-6-3-2, has sickened more than 500 people with a link to eggs from three Polish packing centres.

Based on WGS, isolates are part of two distinct but related genetic clusters.

The ECDC said it does not have sufficient evidence to confirm or exclude a link between this Salmonella outbreak and the cluster of cases in Sweden.

A five year old child died in Croatia and Hungary also had a fatal case.

From May 2016, 14 countries had 280 confirmed and 257 probable cases.

The Netherlands Food and Product Safety Authority (NVWA) did MLVA typing on 66 S. Enteritidis isolates from egg samples from a Dutch packing centre and one had MLVA profile 2-10-7-3-2.

Out of five Greek S. Enteritidis isolates originating from a positive laying hen flock in Greece one isolate had this MLVA profile.

Out of the nine Danish S. Enteritidis isolates from chicken meat from Poland a total of three isolates had the MLVA profile.

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