Salmonella outbreak in Slovenia, Steak tartare linked as possible source

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The Department of Safe Food, Veterinary Medicine and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) together with the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) is investigating the increasing number of salmonella infections reported in Slovenia, which are being handled by the regional units of NIJZ Ravne na Kuroczem, Morska Sobota, Celje and Ljubljana. On the basis of information received from the epidemiological service of the NIJZ, UVHVVR began surveys and inspections.

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The first results of the investigation of the case were presented today at the press conference by Ph.D. Sanga Vuzim. Average, spec. (Nigs), Dr. Branko Budbichan and MA. Nadia Shukruk (UVHVVR) and Dr. Magda Biasezu (National Veterinary Institute – NVI).

Sanga Phuzim, Ph.D. The New Zealand National Institute had recorded 19 confirmed cases of salmonella by 12:00 noon today, which are being treated by the regional units of the NIJZ, said the specialist doctor. Epidemiological investigation showed that there were mostly unrelated cases, but the possibility of eating the same food was prominent. Salmonella infection can occur from consuming certain improperly processed or prepared foods, such as raw meat (mostly poultry) and eggs. In order to prevent infection, it is extremely important that the above foods are properly and thoroughly processed before consumption. Salmonella bacteria are also spread through contact with infected and sick people. The patient/infected person excretes Salmonella with their faeces, where they can come into contact with their hands or in the environment and on other people. Infection can also occur through direct contact with infected animals.

Dr Branko Pudbichan presented the current activities of the Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection Inspectorate, which are based on information from the New Zealand National Institute. These initially concerned the sale of potentially contaminated meat preparation in three retail chains to Slovenian producers. Through inquiries and verification of the data received, it was established that the meat preparation of only one Slovenian product was sold in retail chains. An examination was carried out (still in progress) during which the presence of Salmonella was confirmed in one sample. He stressed that the link between the NIJZ cases and food safety inspection, veterinary medicine and plant protection cannot be confirmed or denied at present.

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M.A. Nadya Shukruk explained the content of the extraordinary examination in the factory identified, which examined the traceability of raw materials, the traceability of products, the sanitary and technical condition of the premises and equipment in the factory, cleaning procedures, and individual data on disease symptoms. of personnel and the results of their controls. Also, 5 official samples of raw materials and finished products have been taken, and the results are not known yet. It was found that on November 18, the same retail chain had informed the manufacturer of possible suspected gastrointestinal problems caused by the steak tartare. As part of his controls, the latter took a sample of his rice stick and sent it to a lab for analysis. The manufacturer received the partial official report. On November 22, the presence of salmonella bacteria was confirmed in this sample. Today, November 23, the report has been completed. It is Salmonella Enteritidis found in the sample. Yesterday, based on the results, food was ordered to be withdrawn from the market, information about this was also posted on the UVHVVR website. Meanwhile, 29 employees have been sent for inspection with a view to excluding them from membership, and the production and distribution of foodstuffs that have not been heat-treated are also temporarily prohibited. And she stressed that the latter result does not yet mean a direct link between the patient and Salmonella found in meat tartar, and this will only be confirmed by further analyzes of the genome of isolates isolated from patients and food. It also reported that UVHVVR took 12 samples of duck meat as part of its annual sampling program during St. Martin’s Day. The presence of salmonella was confirmed in three cases, Salmonella Typhimurium in two cases and Salmonella Enteritidis in one case.



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