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Deadly salmonella outbreak reaches Austria

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Photo: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
08:36 CEST+02:00
A salmonella outbreak which has affected hundreds of people across Europe, and which has killed three people, has also been detected in Austria, according to Reuters.

More than 156 reported cases across the UK appear to be linked according to health authorities in that country.  Additionally, 49 cases were found in France, and an as yet unknown number of confirmed cases have been reported in Austria.

"In England, the cases occurred as isolated clusters over several months and have been managed locally, but are now being reassessed as potentially linked under a national investigation," Public Health England said in a statement.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and, if there is any further public health action necessary, then we will ensure that this takes place," they added.

Salmonella is a variety of food poisoning, often associated with bacterial contamination of chickens and eggs.  Other foods have been known to harbour the bacteria, as in the USA, McCormick & Co., one of the best known names in the spice business, recalled a batch of ground oregano because it might be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The bacteria causes gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including stomach cramps, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Food safety officials in each of the three countries are looking at potential common links, in order to track down and contain the illness.

Food contamination has been in the news recently, with a deadly outbreak of the listeria bacteria killing 12 people in Denmark.  A similar case in Austria killed seven people in 2009 and 2010.

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