A brand of fish cakes has been traced to a Listeria outbreak in Denmark in which one person died.

From mid-August to October, the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) recorded seven patients who became ill with the same type of Listeria monocytogenes.

The Statens Serum Institut, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen), and DTU Food Institute investigation pointed to a brand of fish cakes that have now been recalled.

Patients are three men and four women. Those sick include one child and six people over the age of 70, one of whom has subsequently died.

Ill people live across the country and interviews with six patients showed they had all eaten fish cakes.

Product recall
Earlier this week, Jeka Fish recalled all fish cakes produced between Aug. 1 and Nov. 8. Items have shelf life dates ranging from Sept. 6 to Dec. 14 this year. A frozen product with the same production dates but an expiry of Jan. 31, 2024, to May 7, 2024, is also affected. Products were sold at SuperBrugsen, Kvickly, Dagli’Brugsen, Irma, Coop365, Fakta, Netto, Bilka, Lidl and Aldi stores and online.

The action was taken because the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration found Listeria in the production environment and in products from the company. The same type of Listeria has so far been found in patients and the production environment.

Jeka stopped production for a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the facility and equipment.  

The fish cakes have also been sent to Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania, and Slovakia.

SSI is responsible for whole genome sequencing of Listeria isolates from patients and interviewing patients or relatives.

“When comparing bacteria from patients and samples from Jeka Fish, we have found that they are exactly the same. Combined with the fact that patients stated they have eaten fish cakes, this shows that the infection came from here,” said Luise Müller, an epidemiologist at the Statens Serum Institut.

Whole genome sequencing of bacteria isolated from patients showed samples were closely related and all belonged to sequence type 7.

Since October, Denmark has recorded significantly more infections with other types of Listeria than in previous years. Officials are continuing work to try and find the causes of these other cases.

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