Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cooked Meats

UK - Investigations show that a recent outbreak of Salmonella seen in England and Wales has links to the consumption of cooked ham bought from small independent butchers’ shops.
calendar icon 19 September 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The results of tests carried out by environmental health officers on the product did not show the presence of Salmonella although it did reveal other hygiene issues. As a result of this, the supplier has withdrawn certain batches of ham.

There have been 21 confirmed cases in Wales where the outbreak was first detected, and a further 42 confirmed cases in England (36 last reported). Twelve people have been admitted to hospital (five in Wales and seven in England – up from four). Other potential cases are being investigated.

Experts from Public Health England (PHE) are working with Public Health Wales (PHW), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and environmental health officers from several local authorities to trace the origins of the contaminated food.

Dr Bob Adak, head of the gastrointestinal diseases department at PHE said: "Although the source of the outbreak has not been confirmed some of the cases have been linked to the consumption of cooked ham sold by a small number of independent butchers.

"Investigating outbreaks of foodborne illness is a complex process as people have to try and remember what they ate some weeks prior to becoming unwell. In this instance, many reported eating cooked meats. The FSA is following all possible leads along with Environmental Health to try and establish the source of the outbreak. This process is ongoing."

Salmonella food poisoning is usually caused by eating contaminated raw or undercooked food like meat, eggs and dairy products. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.

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