Nearly 200 sick in UK-wide Salmonella outbreak; a third hospitalized

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Almost 200 people across the UK are part of an outbreak of Salmonella linked to pork scratching products.

According to the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, 179 cases of Salmonella Infantis have been reported since September 2020.

Public Health England said 56% of cases are men and ages range from 0 to 91 with a median of 53. Almost two-thirds of those ill have been reported since June 2021.

No deaths are linked to the outbreak, but a third of confirmed cases who completed case interviews were hospitalized with Salmonella infections.

There are 154 patients from the nine regions of England, 14 patients from Wales, 10 from Scotland and one from Northern Ireland.

Tayto Group Limited has recalled certain products from Mr. Porky, Jay’s and The Real Pork Crackling Co. because they may be contaminated with salmonella. Items have expiration dates until February 19, 2022 inclusive. A complete list of affected products and package sizes can be found here.

All products manufactured since February at a plant linked to the outbreak have been recalled and withdrawn from sale. Production was voluntarily halted at this factory once a possible link was identified earlier this month.

Tayto Group is a UK manufacturer of chips and snacks, producing more than 5.5 million packs per day at seven UK locations.

FSA and PHE reaction
Tina Potter, incident manager at the Food Standards Agency, said the authority is advising consumers not to eat any of the affected products and return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

One of the recalled products

“The food company involved has voluntarily suspended production to put in place additional controls to improve the safety of its products and it has decided on a voluntary basis to withdraw and recall all products during the shelf life produced on this site, ”she said. noted.

Dr Lesley Larkin, head of surveillance for the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at Public Health England, said a link had been made between patients based on analysis of whole genome sequencing data and epidemiological investigations.

“Together with Public Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, we have investigated an outbreak of over 170 cases of Salmonella Infantis that have occurred across the UK,” she said. .

“These investigations, as well as those carried out by local authorities, have indicated that the source of the infection is pork scratchings produced by a single company in the UK. The Food Standards Agency acted on the basis of these findings to mitigate any additional public health risk from contaminated food. “

Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) has urged the public not to consume two types of Mr. Porky brand snacks imported from the UK by Jenzet Limited as they may be contaminated with salmonella.

A CFS spokesperson said: “CFS has received a notification from UK authorities through the International Network of Food Safety Authorities (INFOSAN) indicating that the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. The Food Standards Agency and Public Health England are investigating and affected products are being recalled. “

About Salmonella
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste bad. Anyone can get sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are weak, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten the recalled products and developed symptoms of salmonella food poisoning should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctor about possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria, as special tests are needed to diagnose salmonellosis. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnoses.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, the diarrhea can be so severe that patients must be hospitalized.

The elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop serious illness and serious conditions, which can sometimes be fatal. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing symptoms. However, they can still pass the infections on to others.

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