1 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Division of Food Microbiology, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 Division of Epidemiology and Microbial Genomics, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark4 Statens Serum Institut5 Danish Veterinary and Food Administration6 Statens Serum Institut
This paper shows that control of foodborne disease outbreaks may be challenging even after establishing the source of infection. An outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium U323 infections occurred in Denmark from March to September 2010, involving 172 cases. Before the detection of human cases, several positive isolates of the outbreak strain had been found in a particular pig slaughterhouse and thus early traceback, investigation and control measures were possible. Several batches of pork and pork products were recalled and the slaughterhouse was closed twice for disinfection. No single common food item was identified as the outbreak source, but repeated isolation of the outbreak strain from the slaughterhouse environment and in pork and products as well as patient interviews strongly suggested different pork products as the source of infection. Furthermore, a matched case-control study identified a specific ready-to-eat spreadable pork sausage (teewurst) as the source of a sub-outbreak (matched odds ratio 17, 95% confidence interval 2·1–130).
Epidemiology and Infection, 2013, Vol 141, Issue 2, p. 260-268