Norway: Smoked salmon suspected as source of listeriosis outbreak
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The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has detected an outbreak caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. So far, four people have been infected.
The samples were taken between February and August of this year (2022). The four people are aged 50-90, two women and two men, and live in Nordland, Trondelag, Oslo and Viken. They were all taken to the hospital.
Bacteria with the same genetic profile were detected in samples from all four patients. In addition, one suspected case is awaiting final clarification of the test result.
The Institute of Public Health collaborated with the Municipal Health Service, microbiological laboratories, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Veterinary Institute to determine whether patients may have a common source of infection.
Three of the four patients were interviewed by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. All indicated that they had eaten smoked salmon or smoked trout in the time prior to their illness, and two of them mentioned smoked salmon from the same product. During the investigation of the outbreak, outbreak bacteria were found at a low concentration in a product from this manufacturer. The sample was a routine sample taken in connection with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s monitoring program for ready-to-eat products in 2022.
So the Norwegian Food Safety Authority conducted a check on the manufacturer and obtained several environmental samples analyzed at the Veterinary Institute. bacteria Listeria monocytogenes It was found in samples, and therefore the Norwegian Food Safety Authority decided that the company should withdraw more products from the market.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious disease that mainly affects pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly with a weak general condition.
Listeria It is usually transmitted through food, especially refrigerated foods with a long shelf life that are eaten without further heat treatment.
People in high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly with a weak general condition, should avoid food products that can cause a risk of listeriosis, says senior advisor to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Heidi lang.
Typical food products in which there may be a risk of listeriosis are smoked fish, ringed fish, soft and semi-soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk and some sliced meats.