Danish officials have linked an outbreak of Salmonella to eggs produced in the country.
The Statens Serum Institut (SSI), Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) and DTU Food Institute investigated the outbreak which saw half of the 18 patients hospitalized.
The same type of Salmonella was found in environmental samples at a Danish egg producer and in outbreak patients by whole genome sequencing. A previous report, when 15 people were sick, was made when the outbreak was under investigation.
Eggs produced for Danaeg and sold through several retailers were recalled on Oct. 30 so they are no longer available to buy, but they do have best before dates up to Nov. 16.
Danaeg recalled eggs stamped with 081131 as the last six digits. It involves free range eggs stamped with 1DK081131 branded Danæg and Landlyst and caged eggs marked 3DK081131 branded Henriettelund. They were sold at stores including Spar, Meny, Fakta, Aldi, Coop 365 and SuperBrugsen as well as on Nemlig.com. Potentially contaminated eggs were also recalled in Sweden and Germany.
Sick people report eating eggs
Between mid-September and late October, the Statens Serum Institut registered 18 people infected with the same type of Salmonella Enteritidis.
The 10 women and eight men affected are aged from 2 to 85 years old and live across the country. In total, nine patients have been hospitalized.
Interviews with 10 patients found they had all eaten eggs shortly before they became ill and before the implicated eggs were recalled.
“It is highly unusual for us to have an outbreak of disease caused by Danish eggs. These outbreaks are fortunately very rare and the last time we had a similar outbreak was seven years ago,” said SSI epidemiologist, Luise Müller.
The last outbreak with Danish eggs as the source of infection was in 2014 with 18 registered cases.
The Danish monitoring program involves taking samples for control of Salmonella every 14 days from egg producers. This sampling frequency is designed to reduce the risk of contaminated eggs entering the market.
Danish officials have also revealed there were 10 cases of botulism in the first half of this year compared to none in the previous two years. Botulism poisoning is a rare illness caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
In January 2021, a woman was hospitalized and died after being diagnosed with botulism poisoning. The patient was from Asia and the suspicion was that she became ill from home-fermented fish or cabbage.
In March, there were three different events with two, one and six cases. The first samples were submitted for testing at SSI, from Greenland involving two men of the same family. Both were positive for botulism and one died. The duo had probably been infected after eating seal meat that was improperly stored. Botulinum toxin E was detected in the meat.
The isolated case was a man hospitalized in early March. He was from Romania and came to Denmark shortly before the onset of symptoms. The man had likely been infected during a dinner in Romania, where another person also developed similar symptoms.
In early March, a dinner party was held with six family members involving a number of fish dishes. Five of them were hospitalized with symptoms of botulism poisoning.
Botulinum toxin type A was found in an open glass of red fish roe. The producer, Agustson A/S, issued a recall of the product in March.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s investigation showed it was the same type of roe from this producer that was an ingredient in the home-made jelly ring with jarred lumpfish roe that caused an outbreak in 2018 affecting nine people.
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