Published Date: 2006-07-03 00:00:00
Subject: PRO> Salmonellosis, serotype Montevideo - UK (03)
Archive Number: 20060703.1827
SALMONELLOSIS, SEROTYPE MONTEVIDEO - UK (03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 3 Jul 2006
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Times Online [edited]
Food safety investigators are inquiring into whether a range of
Easter eggs and boxes of chocolates on sale in 2006 were contaminated
with a salmonella bug.
The action comes after data from the Health Protection Agency showed
that food poisoning incidents of salmonella Montevideo -- the bug
that led Cadbury to recall a million chocolate bars 10 days ago --
peaked in the weeks after Easter and Mothering Sunday. One Easter
egg [type], the 105g Cadbury's Dairy Milk Buttons egg, was part of the
recall of 7 products.
Health chiefs have been unable to establish a specific link between
the human cases and eating any particular food, but they cannot
ignore the peaks of food poisoning coinciding with celebrations at
which giving and eating chocolate is a tradition. Tests are therefore
being rerun on samples from at least 30 other product lines to check
for the bacteria.
This work is being carried out in parallel by environmental health
officers at Birmingham City Council and Cadbury's own scientific
team. The company insists that it has found no evidence of any other
contamination in any other of its 2500 product lines. However, it is
not giving details of other products that are subject to the new
It is understood that at least 70 percent of Cadbury's chocolate bars
have now been recalled from more than 55 000 shops.
The agency has revealed that the highest number of cases of the
bacterial strain, known as SmvdX07, was in week 16, which started on
17 Apr 2006, Easter Monday, and week 20, which started on 15 May
2006, the day after Mothering Sunday.
3 people admitted to hospital suffering from infection by the strain
are believed to have recovered.
[Byline: Valerie Elliott]
[Mothering Sunday in the UK is the 4th Sunday of Lent. Although it's
often called "Mother's Day" it has no connection with the American
festival of that name. Traditionally, it was a day when children,
mainly daughters, who had gone to work as domestic servants were
given a day off to visit their mother and family. In the posting, 14
May was referred to as Mothering Sunday, but in fact, Mothering
Sunday occurred on 26 Mar 2006. 14 May 2006 was "Mother's Day" in the
USA, Australia, Canada and several other countries, and it is that
day that the post refers to.
The observation of a peak in cases during a time when chocolate would
be more likely to be consumed together with the identical strain of
_Salmonella enterica_ serotype Montevideo in the chocolate and the
cases further tightens the association. No information, as yet, has
been released on whether the affected individuals were known to have
consumed the implicated chocolate.
ProMED thanks Brent Barrett for contributing a parallel story. - Mod.LL]