Infectious Diseases 2005

Infectious Diseases 2005

Large outbreak of Salmonella Hadar in Spain associated with pre-cooked chicken

13 August, 2005

A large outbreak of salmonella gastroenteritis has been reported in Spain, with 2138 cases, including one fatality reported by 8 August 2005. Reported cases have been epidemiologically and microbiologically linked to a single brand of pre-cooked, vacuum-packed roast chicken which was commercially distributed throughout Spain.
The National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella and Shigella has received 90 salmonella isolates from patients and six from chicken samples. Results of the 35 strains studied so far (30 human, five chicken) confirm the identification of Salmonella Hadar, and in 34 strains, phage type (PT) 2 has been identified. The isolates are resistant to ampicillin, cefalotine, streptomycin, nalidixic acid, and tetracycline. The pulsed field gel electrophoresis profiles of human and chicken samples are indistinguishable.
On 28 July 2005, the National Centre for Epidemiology received a report from the autonomous region of Valencia of the detection of eight household clusters of gastroenteritis involving a total of 25 cases, all with clinical presentation of salmonella infection. On the same day, two more autonomous regions reported similar outbreaks and the Spanish Food Safety Agency:
started investigating the source. On 29 July, an alert was sent to the health authorities throughout Europe via the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) and Enter-net. On 28 and 29 July, all implicated chicken products were recalled from commercial outlets, and a mass media campaign to ensure people avoided consuming brand A chicken, that they have already bought, was launched throughout Spain (Eurosurveillance).