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Cooked Ham May be Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

17 September 2013

UK - An outbreak of an unusual type of salmonella infection, Salmonella Typhimurium, across England and Wales is being investigated by Public Health England, Public Health Wales, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authority environmental health officers.

A total of 21 confirmed cases in Wales and 36 in England have been reported, with nine cases known to have required hospitalisation, according to the FSA. Other potential cases are being investigated in both countries.

The outbreak was first detected in Wales in August and centred mainly in North Wales (Conwy and Gwynedd), with additional clusters being investigated in England in the Thames Valley, Leeds, Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent areas.

Cases are widely geographically distributed in patients aged between seven months and 87 years.

Investigations have been carried out into possible links between the cases. Consumption of cooked ham from small independent butchers has been identified as a potential common link to the illness.

Testing has been carried out on ham supplied to a number of butchers identified in the investigation. No trace of salmonella has been found, but other hygiene issues were identified that led to one supplier voluntarily withdrawing certain batches of ham. Investigations are on-going.

Salmonella food poisoning is usually caused by eating contaminated raw or undercooked food such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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