Salmonella outbreak investigated

An outbreak of Salmonella has affected 156 people in England over the past few months. Public Health England, which is investigating the outbreak, say tests suggest that the cause of the illness is from a single source although cases have been seen in Hampshire, London, Cheshire and the West Midlands.

Salmonella is often linked to poultry or eggs. The strain of bacteria causing this outbreak of food poisoning, Salmonella Enteritidis, may also have affected people in France and Austria, according to PHE. 

Dr Paul Cleary, a consultant epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation, noted: “We are working with our colleagues across Public Health England, at the Food Standards Agency, in local authorities and with other public health organisations in Europe to investigate the cause of this outbreak. 

“We are making good progress and hope to have more conclusive evidence shortly. 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.” 

Experts are examining 55 cases in Hampshire, 25 in London and 33 in Cheshire. They are also looking at 43 cases in the West Midlands, 34 of which were connected to an outbreak at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. 

Salmonella can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. On average it takes from 12 to 72 hours for the symptoms to develop and then usually last for four to seven days and clear up without treatment. Sometimes the disease can be fatal in the very young or old or immunosuppressed due to their lower resistance to infection. 

Biomaster antimicrobial technology is a range of silver based antimicrobial additives that can be applied to any plastic, paper, textile or coating application and has been proven to reduce the growth of Salmonella by up 99.99% as tested to ISO standards. It can provide an antimicrobial solution for any point in the food chain to reduce the risk of bacterial cross infection. 

There are several forward-thinking companies who have already brought to market products that can help prevent the spread of Salmonella. 

Egg incubators create the ideal conditions for the growth of microbes and bacteria that can in turn be harmful to incubating eggs and can cause embryonic death. To reduce this risk Brinsea, the incubation specialists, have incorporated Biomaster into their incubator cabinets to prevent the growth of bacteria and help provide the optimum environment for hatching. 

Biomaster are also working closely with producers of broiler house feeders and drinkers and protective clothing manufacturers for stockmen and processing personnel to launch products offering built-in antimicrobial protection. 

Dycem also produce Biomaster protected high performance mats and floor coverings that stop contamination in its tracks. Research has shown that the use of their products can lead to a 75% reduction in airborne contaminants so making them ideal for use in food processing plants and packaging areas. 

The technology was developed by industry additives experts Addmaster (UK) Ltd. 

Marketing manager Karl Shaw says: “Biomaster alone will not eradicate Salmonella, but when it is used in conjunction with sensible biosecurity measures and food hygiene best practice it can provide long lasting protection against cross contamination on virtually any surface.”

*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.