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Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2009 Dec;33(4):414-8.

Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium 44 related to egg consumption.

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National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.


ACT Health investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with a local restaurant in December 2008. The infecting agent was Salmonella serotype Typhimurium phage type 44. A case control study was conducted to identify the source of infection. A total of 22 cases and 9 controls were recruited to take part in the study. Both poached eggs (odds ratio [OR] 42.00) and hollandaise sauce (OR 19.00) had elevated odds ratios that were statistically significant. The major limitation of the study was the small sample size and small number of controls. Despite this, a strong association with illness and consumption of eggs and hollandaise sauce was detected and this was further supported by environmental evidence. The investigation concluded that the cause of the outbreak was putatively contaminated eggs, either on their own or as an ingredient used in hollandaise sauce. The investigation and control measures led to an improvement in hygiene practices at the restaurant and contributed to the voluntary recall of the contaminated batch of eggs from the Australian Capital Territory. The results of the study also build upon other evidence that egg-related salmonellosis is now common in Australia and attention to commercial practices at production and processing is overdue.

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