Salmonella outbreak 'linked to single egg source'

Salmonella Enteritidis bacterium Image copyright Science Photo Library

The outbreak of salmonella in England is likely to have come from a single source of eggs, according to Public Health England.

It seems to be the same strain of salmonella that is causing disease across parts of Europe.

The number of reported cases has increased in the past week from 158 to 247.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever although most people recover without treatment.

Cases have been reported in:

  • Hampshire - 99
  • London - 30
  • Cheshire and Merseyside - 39
  • West Midlands - 54

Dr Paul Cleary, consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England (PHE), said: "Investigations into the recent Salmonella enteritidis outbreak are progressing, at both a national and European level.

"There is now evidence to indicate that cases in Europe with the same strains of salmonella infection were associated with consumption of eggs from a single source. This egg supply also reached distributors and food outlets in England, but at this stage we cannot conclusively demonstrate this is the infection source in this country.

"We are continuing to work with the Food Standards Agency and public health organisations in Europe but, importantly, the decline in salmonella case reporting this week, alongside other elements of our investigations, reassures us that the current risk to public health is low."

The new cases are not from the past week, but have only just been reported to Public Health England.

Eggs and chickens are a common source of salmonella infections.

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