Denmark: Salmonella source eludes experts

Published 06.08.08 15:29

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Despite a record outbreak of salmonella scientists are still unable to pin down the origin of the bacteria in meat products After months of examining various meats and interviewing patients, scientists from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration have come...

The figure is the highest for a salmonella epidemic in Denmark in modern times, surpassing 1993's count of 550 persons who contracted the illness.

'We don't have any reports of someone dying yet, but with an outbreak of this magnitude it is typical for salmonella to be a contributing cause of death to people in a weakened state of health,' Steffen Glismann, physician at Statens Serum Institut, told Politiken newspaper.

Glismann said the epidemic could already have affected up to 6000 people, most of whom possibly suffered only from diarrhoea or a slight fever. He said his team had interviewed nearly 300 patients, asking them about what they had eaten in the days leading up to their illness. Their shopping receipts had also been traced, but the salmonella's source could not be pinpointed.

The scientists believe that more than one source is responsible for the outbreak and that the most likely candidates are ready-to-eat meals that include meat. They did not rule out a specific ingredient being responsible for the outbreak, however.

In addition, DVFA believes the meat product was probably produced in Denmark, as the agency has not yet received any outbreak reports from other countries.

The Copenhagen Post



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