On 6 February 2020, the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) published its fourth update on an on-going multi-country outbreak of Salmonella in the EU.
The outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis has been linked to eggs, and has been ongoing in the EU/EEA for several years.
From 1 February 2017 to 14 January 2020, 15 EU/EEA countries reported 656 confirmed cases and 202 probable cases. Before February 2017, 385 historical-confirmed cases and 413 historical-probable cases were identified, resulting in 18 affected countries. Due to differences in capacity for case confirmation, more countries are likely to be affected.
The outbreak peaked during the summer of 2016–2018. A notable decrease in the frequency of the cases reported to ECDC was been observed in 2019.
Epidemiological, microbiological and food tracing investigations have linked the cases before 2018 to consumption of eggs originating from hen farms of a Polish consortium. A national investigation in 2018 in the UK identified epidemiological links between some cases and consumption of table eggs or egg products, with traceability possibly pointing to the Polish consortium.
Despite the control measures implemented in 2016–2017, the farms of the Polish consortium were again found positive for outbreak strains in 2018–2019, which suggests persistent contamination. Investigations focusing on the laying hen production and feed supply chains did not reveal any significant insights on the possible origin of the contamination.
In the period 2017-2019, one of the outbreak strains was found in primary production in Germany.
The outbreak is still ongoing and it is expected that further infections will occur and that new cases will be reported in the coming months. Additional investigations are necessary to identify the source of contamination.
Source: ECDC, 6 February 2020