Update on Salmonella Outbreak

IRELAND - The on-going investigation into salmonella food poisoning in the UK and Ireland has made a possible link with cooked beef from several processing companies sold to Subway food outlets. Cooked chicken and bacon may also be affected.
calendar icon 11 August 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported on its continuing investigation into a food poisoning outbreak of Salmonella agona affecting Ireland and the UK. Whilst, the investigation continues to seek to establish the exact source of the outbreak, laboratory testing of foods is providing evidence of a possible link with Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, The Maudlins, Naas, County Kildare (plant number 734) and some of its products. Information gathered by the FSAI suggests that potentially contaminated beef product was supplied to the Subway chain of food outlets and the FSAI has received assurance from Subway that this product has been removed from sale.

In light of this, as a precautionary measure in the interests of public health all products processed on the same production line as this beef product at Dawn Farm Foods (plant number 734) are being withdrawn. A list of these products is available and will be updated on the FSAI’s web site.

Dawn Farm Foods has confirmed to the FSAI that it is withdrawing selected batches of cooked beef, cooked chicken and cooked bacon products from the made-to-order sandwich trade. The FSAI is urging food outlets providing made-to-order sandwiches to comply swiftly and completely with the withdrawal.

Mr Alan Reilly, FSAI states, "This is a highly complicated outbreak investigation focusing on products from one thermal processing line with a complex food distribution chain. Dawn Farm Foods is fully cooperating with the investigation. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has served a compliance notice to detain all products at the plant produced on the production line under investigation. To ensure swift product withdrawal, food businesses are urged to check the list of the implicated products on the FSAI web site and this list will be updated as new information becomes available.

"Salmonella Agona is very unpleasant but it is not life-threatening for most people who usually make a full recovery. However, serious complications can occur for older people, young children, pregnant women and people who are already sick with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. Consumers who believe any food they have eaten has made them ill should seek medical advice," Mr Reilly says.

The FSAI reiterates its advice for all food outlets providing made-to-order sandwiches to be particularly strict in adhering to best hygiene practices. Food borne bacteria including Salmonella is effectively killed through thorough cooking. It reminds retailers of the importance of ensuring that hot sandwiches must be thoroughly cooked before serving to the consumer. It also stresses the need for strict procedures to be followed at all times to avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked foods.

The FSAI is working closely with the Department of Health & Children, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the Health Service Executive, as well as the relevant agencies in the UK in relation to this food incident.

As the investigation is ongoing, the FSAI says it will continue to provide more information as it becommes available.

Further Reading

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