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Salmonella outbreak – scant on details so avoid all food?

By creative_canberran - 6 December 2011 37

News from the ABC today of a Salmonella outbreak, though ACT Health is being scant on the details, not even indicating whereabouts in Canberra these 4 patients live or work.

Given they all got sick in a short space of time and it’s Christmas party season, seems a good bet that is the source.

However with the lack of details and how common food poisoning is anyway, it begs the question why they announced it at all if not to inform people of the cause and how to avoid it?

And if this condition is caused by poor kitchen hygiene, perhaps they could hurry up with the naming and shaming of food outlets who don’t make the grade as is now the case in NSW, something that actually will help us.

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
Salmonella outbreak – scant on details so avoid all food?
imarty 12:21 pm 07 Dec 11

Coincidentally a research paper on FoodBorne disease Outbreaks in Australia 2001-2009 crossed my desk this very morning.
Salmonella was most frequently identified as being implicated in outbreaks (40% or 6,573/16,411),
Food vehicles associated with the highest burden of illness included egg/egg products (9% or 1,404, 97% due to Salmonella.), poultry (7% or 1,155, 40% due to Salmonella).
Interestingly enough vegetables/salad was also at 7%, but 30% due to Salmonella.
Of the total number of the 336 outbreaks of Salmonella, 6,573 fell ill, 1138 were hospitalised and 21 died.

The most common setting where food implicated in outbreaks was prepared was restaurants (409 outbreaks) followed by private residence (101).

Basically people, make sure your hot food is hot, your cold food is cold and wash your hands. The rest is out of your control.

EvanJames 12:07 pm 07 Dec 11

Peptis said :

EvanJames said :

In the US, people are very reluctant to have raw or almost raw eggs, as factory farming has resulted in eggs being infected with Salmonella almost routinely.

The latest data that I could find is from 2001 and it said that 11 cases were reported per 100,000 people. That’s hardly “routine”. That data is from the Center for Disease Control.

yes, the reality is probably less than the perception, but try getting someone to serve you something with raw or almost-raw eggs in the US. They are terrified of their eggs. And so they’re all cooked unless you go to the trouble of getting “safe” organic etc ones.

Myles Peterson 11:45 am 07 Dec 11

London Burgers & Beers was named fast enough, despite finding nothing wrong.

That entire episode stinks. Three government agencies (health, workcare and coppers) sicked on a small business, while two local media agencies just happened to “wander past” as it went down.

Back on topic, the ACT Health comms unit is … problematic to deal with and agree with other posts, this release serves no useful function.

Peptis 11:29 am 07 Dec 11

EvanJames said :

In the US, people are very reluctant to have raw or almost raw eggs, as factory farming has resulted in eggs being infected with Salmonella almost routinely.

The latest data that I could find is from 2001 and it said that 11 cases were reported per 100,000 people. That’s hardly “routine”. That data is from the Center for Disease Control.

EvanJames 10:09 am 07 Dec 11

So-far, the US problem with eggs isn’t a problem here. Yet. In the US, people are very reluctant to have raw or almost raw eggs, as factory farming has resulted in eggs being infected with Salmonella almost routinely. Egg shells are porous and the way they’re processed sees poo being able to penetrate the shells. Ditto chicken meat, I’ve never had chicken in the US that wasn’t cooked to death and dry (unless it was pumped full of solution and fat to prevent the dryness).

So here, you’ll get salmonella usually from chicken meat or eggs that have been allowed to become warm and the salmonella to develop.

As for “being careful”, how?! We can “be careful” with our own food, ensure the chicken/eggs stay in the fridge until be served, and/or ensure they’re heated up to hot, and never sit there warm, but what about purchased food? Do we fix the server with a beady eye and demand to know if there’s salmonella? I’m sure that would end well.

theoutsider 8:58 am 07 Dec 11

There’s a Silo around the place that cannot be named…

Thumper 6:48 pm 06 Dec 11

It’s a bit of a worry when salmon escape.

I-filed 6:22 pm 06 Dec 11

poetix said :

As OP says, this just scares everyone to no purpose.

Can you get salmonella from any food, or is it just meat or eggs? (And salmon, presumably…)

I had a terrible dose of salmonella from cheese I bought in Paris – it had been cut with a knife that had been used probably on chicken.

Henry82 6:01 pm 06 Dec 11

I think they’re just trying to say focus on food preparation. In this season many people prepare food in advance (at home, and with caterers), so they want people to be extra careful.

Joy 5:18 pm 06 Dec 11

More your gourmet wrap I’m thinking.

creative_canberran 5:14 pm 06 Dec 11

poetix said :

As OP says, this just scares everyone to no purpose.

Can you get salmonella from any food, or is it just meat or eggs? (And salmon, presumably…)

Poultry is a leading vector for Salmonella, with over 130,000 people being infected with the strain found in eggs in the US per year. It can however be caught from just about anything depending on handling and hygiene conditions, including from taps and water coolers.

There is actually some concern now about the design of automatic taps (the ones like at Westfield and CC in Canberra now which use sensors to turn on) after US testing found they have much higher bacteria counts typically, presumably because of the more complicated mechanisms.

Spykler 4:59 pm 06 Dec 11

Please don’t tell me it has anything to do with potato scallops or crumbed chicken wings..That would send me into a downward spiral.

poetix 4:12 pm 06 Dec 11

As OP says, this just scares everyone to no purpose.

Can you get salmonella from any food, or is it just meat or eggs? (And salmon, presumably…)

Stevian 4:11 pm 06 Dec 11

Well, you’re not helping

EvanJames 3:55 pm 06 Dec 11

Chicken or eggs, most likely, not kept at the right temperature. But agree, kind-of pointless announcing it without giving people any useful information.

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