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Foodborne transmission of Listeria monocytogenes via ready-to-eat salad: a nationwide outbreak in Switzerland, 2013-2014


Stephan, Roger; Althaus, Denise; Kiefer, Sabine; Lehner, Angelika; Hatz, Christoph; Schmutz, C; Jost, Marianne; Gerber, N; Baumgartner, Andreas; Hächler, Herbert; Mäusezahl-Feuz, Mirjam (2015). Foodborne transmission of Listeria monocytogenes via ready-to-eat salad: a nationwide outbreak in Switzerland, 2013-2014. Food Control, 57:14-17.

Abstract

From 26 October 2013 to 23 April 2014, 32 cases of listeriosis infected with an Listeria monocytogenes strain serovar 4b, sequence type 4 and belonging to a single distinct PFGE pulsotype were registered in patients from several cantons of Switzerland. L. monocytogenes was detected in blood (75%), CSF (16%), ascites (6%) and in joint fluid (3%) samples. By the end of March 2014, a food producing company reported an L. monocytogenes contamination of ready-to-eat salads to the authorities after detecting the pathogen through its in-house routine quality control. Product and environmental samples collected during subsequent investigations yielded isolates, matching the outbreak strain, thus confirming that ready-to-eat salad from this company was most likely the outbreak source. The cause for the product contamination was related to a design-inherent hygienic problem of one specific product-feeding belt. Complementary patient interviews also identified ready-to-eat green salads bought at one retailer as the likely outbreak source

Abstract

From 26 October 2013 to 23 April 2014, 32 cases of listeriosis infected with an Listeria monocytogenes strain serovar 4b, sequence type 4 and belonging to a single distinct PFGE pulsotype were registered in patients from several cantons of Switzerland. L. monocytogenes was detected in blood (75%), CSF (16%), ascites (6%) and in joint fluid (3%) samples. By the end of March 2014, a food producing company reported an L. monocytogenes contamination of ready-to-eat salads to the authorities after detecting the pathogen through its in-house routine quality control. Product and environmental samples collected during subsequent investigations yielded isolates, matching the outbreak strain, thus confirming that ready-to-eat salad from this company was most likely the outbreak source. The cause for the product contamination was related to a design-inherent hygienic problem of one specific product-feeding belt. Complementary patient interviews also identified ready-to-eat green salads bought at one retailer as the likely outbreak source

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Listeria monocytogenes outbreak; Serotype 4b; ST 4; Ready-to-eat salad
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:19 Feb 2016 17:05
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0956-7135
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.03.034

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