Outbreaks of life-threatening food poisoning bug in 13 countries linked to tomatoes | The SunJuly 28, 2023
ANTIBIOTIC resistant salmonella outbreaks have been linked to tomatoes.
The life-threatening bug has been spotted in the UK, US and 11 European countries over the last year, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The Salmonella Senftenberg cases were found and are thought to have been caused by “cherry-like tomatoes”, experts said.
An ECDPC spokesperson said: “Case interviews in Austria, Germany, France, and Sweden suggested cherry-like tomatoes as a possible vehicle of infection.
“The outbreak strain was detected in a mixed salad dish containing cherry tomatoes among green leaf vegetables prepared on August 17, 2022, in France.
“Tomatoes in the salad in France and tomatoes suspected as vehicles of the infections in Austria were traced back to wholesalers in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, and to tomato growers in the Netherlands, Spain, and Morocco.”
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Salmonella is a bacteria usually found in food like eggs and chicken that can cause food poisoning symptoms for up to two weeks in otherwise healthy people.
Signs include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, headache and blood in your poo.
In serious cases it can be deadly, and young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.
They may need antibiotics to clear up the infection in these cases — although the drugs are not needed in the vast majority of infection.
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However, experts are concerned about growing infections from antibiotic resistant strains of the bug.
The ECDPC report identified four cases of Salmonella Senftenberg in Britain between August last year and July this year.
There were two in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year issued a safety alert over the bug, during the same period.
Germany saw the most cases, with 26, followed by France (16), Finland (11) and Sweden (11).
Antibiotic resistance was found in the Austrian, French, German, Irish, Norwegian, and Swedish.
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