In August to October 2012, a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis phase type (PT) 1B with 53 cases occurred in Finland. Hypothesis generating interviews pointed toward ready-to-eat chicken salad from a Finnish company and at the same time Estonian authorities informed of a S. enteritidis PT 1B outbreak linked to chicken wrap prepared at an Estonian restaurant. We found that chicken salad was associated with the infection (odds ratio (OR) 16·1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·7-148·7 for consumption and OR 17·5. 95% CI 4·0-76·0 for purchase). The frozen pre-cooked chicken cubes used in Finnish salad and in Estonian wraps were traced back to a production plant in China. Great Britain made two Rapid Alert Systems for Food and Feed notifications on chicken cubes imported to the UK from the same Chinese production plant. Microbiological investigation confirmed that the patient isolates in Estonia and in Finland were indistinguishable from the strains isolated from chicken cubes in Estonia and in the UK. We recommend that despite certificates for tested Salmonella, food items should be analyzed when Salmonella contamination in outbreak investigations is suspected. In outbreak investigations, electronically implemented case-case study saves time, effort, and money compared with case-control study.
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- Case-case study
- case-control study
- frozen pre-cooked chicken cubes