In the past few months, several foodborne outbreaks have occurred in various European countries, believed to be due to doner meat contaminated with Salmonella. A human has died.
As the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) writes on its website, there are currently foodborne outbreaks in Austria that are likely to be linked to salmonella-contaminated chicken kebab skewers from Poland. One death is also reported. Salmonella infections have also occurred in other European countries, including Central Europe.
Man died in Austria
According to AGES, 14 people in Austria have contracted a specific salmonella strain (Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 CT9791) since February 2023. Affected are people between the ages of 10 and 64 in the federal states of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria and Vienna.
Cases of the disease with this strain have also been reported from other European countries (Central Europe, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK), AGES reported in a previous statement.
Another outbreak also affects Salmonella (Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 CT13755), seven people in Austria between the ages of five and 63 in the federal states of Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Vienna have been ill since April, a 63-year-old Carinthian has died.
In the course of investigating this outbreak, it became apparent that another salmonella strain (Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 CT2114) is responsible for a further six cases in Austria and also for cases in other European countries (Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France).
Chicken from Polish production
According to the information, initial surveys point to a high probability of chicken meat from Polish production, which was used for the production of kebab skewers, as the source of infection for the outbreaks of the disease.
It should be noted that the surveys are “like detective work”: if previous examinations do not give any suspicion of a specific source of the disease, all sick people must be asked about a precise checklist, their shopping habits analyzed and surveys carried out on the course of the disease become.
The possible source of the disease can be narrowed down to this. Unfortunately, however, this is not always possible.
In the current cases, however, almost all people in Austria stated that they had eaten kebap meat (chicken) shortly before the onset of the disease. The following surveys by the food supervisory authorities of the federal states showed that all affected localities used kebab skewers originating in Poland.
Food and environment samples were also taken, with salmonella being detected only in one sample taken at a company and the kebab sold there.
Notice to consumers
AGES advises: When buying a chicken kebab, make sure that the meat has been thoroughly heated: Salmonella are definitely killed at a temperature of over 70 degrees Celsius; however, this temperature must be reached throughout the meat. (ad)