Rare Salmonella outbreak spreads to Wales

Source of Article:  http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/08/14/rare-salmonella-outbreak-spreads-to-wales-91466-21530117/

EIGHT people in Wales have been diagnosed with a rare form of food poisoning linked to a nationwide outbreak.

The salmonella outbreak, associated with cooked bacon from Ireland but sold in the UK, has infected 119 people, killing one person in England.

Several types of ready-to-use sandwich fillings containing cooked bacon have now been recalled.

And the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), which is leading the investigation into the outbreak, has also warned that bacon pieces from a Dawn Farm Foods plant used as pizza toppings and ready meal ingredients could also be affected.

The FSAI identified Dawn Farm Foods plant number 734, in County Kildare, and some of its products as a possible source of the Salmonella Agona outbreak, which started earlier this month.

Three sandwich fillers which may have been contaminated with this rare strain of the bacterium are being recalled.

These are 170g tubs of Dunnes, Supervalu and O’Brien’s chicken and bacon sandwich filler.

All these products, which contain bacon cooked by Dawn Farm Foods’ County Kildare plant, have use-by dates of August 13 to 18.

O’Brien’s sandwich shops are not affected.

The National Public Health Service for Wales last night said that all products processed at Dawn Farm Foods’ plant 734 on the same production line as those which tested positive for Salmonella should not be used.

These will have been supplied to intermediary distributors as frozen products and will subsequently used by the catering sector.

The NPHS said it is imperative that all food businesses check the source of their ingredients. If any originated from Dawn Farm Foods they are strongly advised to check if they have used the products listed on the FSAI website, to withdraw these from sale and to contact the FSAI with details.

Further investigations may lead to other recalls of Dawn Farm Foods’ products.

Dr Roland Salmon, director of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, at the National Public Health Service for Wales, said: “There have been eight cases of Salmonella Agona to date in Wales, of a total of 119 and the investigation seeks to establish the source of the illness.

“Salmonella is usually contracted by eating contaminated food and can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

“People who become ill with salmonella generally make a full recovery but serious complications may occur in frail, elderly people, very young children and people with impaired immune systems. Such groups may need to exercise additional care to avoid salmonella infections.

“More specific information should become available as investigations progress, but meanwhile, it is important for people with symptoms of salmonella to ensure that they wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of the infection to other people.

“Anyone who believes they may be suffering from food poisoning should contact their GP or local authority environmental health department.”

A full list of affected foods is available on the FSAI’s website at www.fsai.ie.


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