Breaking News on Food Safety & Quality Control

Killer salmonella outbreak in the UK

16-Oct-2002

In the UK one person has died and around 150 have fallen ill with a rare form of food poisoning linked to the use of raw eggs as a food ingredient, reports the Independent.

Victims have been concentrated in two specific regions in the UK, the south east and the north west, the Food Standards Agency stated. Public health officials have been trying to trace the source of the contamination, but suspicion has fallen on a London patisserie and a Cheshire bakery, both of which have been using raw egg in their products.

 

As a result of the outbreak the Food Standards Agency has recommended caterers and food businesses to use pasteurised egg in products that will not be cooked and to tighten hygiene practices where ordinary eggs are used. One of the suspect businesses, both of which supplied a number of outlets, had been using raw egg to make icing sugar for cakes, a spokeswoman said.

 

The cause of the outbreak is a rare strain of salmonella called Enteritidis PT 14B. In the past outbreaks have only been traced to travellers returning from Greece and Spain, where the strain of bacteria is more commonly found.

 

In the UK scientists have long known about the presence of salmonella in eggs and the official advice is to cook them for a long time to ensure all bacteria is killed before eating.

 

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