More cases of Salmonella infections have been reported in Norway with a link to imported dried fruit and coconut. Salmonella Agbeni has been detected in several samples of the snack mixes. Salmonella Gamaba was also found in two unopened packages from the same lot.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) reported 32 confirmed and seven possible Salmonella Agbeni cases in an update from the 21 confirmed and nine possible infections earlier this month.
Bama Gruppen AS has recalled the implicated dried fruit mixture in Norway, which is packaged with the label “husk! Eksotisk miks” and comes from Eurocompany srl in Italy.
Salmonella Agbeni has been detected in several samples of the dried fruit mix. Salmonella Gamaba was also found in two unopened packs from the same lot.
The dried fruits and coconut mix with lot number 8291 is the suspected cause of the outbreak. However, analysis of each raw material in the lot did not show the presence of Salmonella. The business and Italian food authorities are investigating to find the exact source. Austria, France, Romania and San Marino also received the dried fruit mix from Italy.
Bama is the only importer of these items into Norway and has now extended its withdrawal to include all products containing the same raw materials as “Eksotisk miks.”
Items recalled this week in Norway are NJOY Studentblanding, NJOY Bananchips, NJOY Luksusmiks, husk! Fruktmiks with lot numbers 8255, 8275, 8291, 8310 and 8361; and husk! Papayamiks with lot numbers 8262, 8290, 8310, 8346, 8353, 9023, 9045 and 9060.
The recalled products have been sold across the country since mid-November 2018 in NorgesGruppens chains such as Spar, Bunnpris, Jacobs, Joker, Kiwi, and Meny.
Bama asked consumers who have any of the above products at home to take them back to the place of purchase so they can be sent for analysis or to throw them away.
People reported illnesses in January, February and March. Confirmed and possible cases include 16 men and 23 women aged from 2 to 91 years old. They live in Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, Østfold, Vestfold, Vest-Agder, Rogaland, Møre og Romsdal, Trøndelag, Nordland and Troms.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the investigation is continuing with local authorities, the Veterinary Institute, and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet). Interviews have been conducted with patients and controls to do a case-control examination. Several people who became ill reported eating the fruit mix.
Salmonella was proven in samples of the product that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority sent for analysis at the Veterinary Institute.
When the Norwegian Food Safety Authority interviewed patients at their home, three had opened packages of the product with the same lot number. Salmonella was detected in these packs.
Between 900 and 1,300 cases of salmonellosis are reported in Norway each year with the majority of patients infected while traveling abroad.
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