Canberra food business linked to Salmonella outbreak

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th December 2011

A Canberra food business has been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella, which has so far resulted in five people being hospitalised.

The ACT Government’s Health Directorate is currently investigating the outbreak. So far 13 people have been diagnosed with Salmonella, all of whom reported purchasing ready-to-eat food from the implicated business on 25 of 26 November 2011.

ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly said today, “Salmonella has been identified in mayonnaise containing raw egg, with further tests of food and environmental samples pending.”

The business in question has been closed for cleaning and high risk foods have been destroyed following food safety inspections carried out by ACT Health Directorate.

Salmonella gastroenteritis is an acute illness characterised by diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting, with symptoms typically lasting a week.

Dr Kelly said that, while the risk of new cases occurring has been reduced, further cases are expected to be reported due to the delay in time between people being tested after their exposure.

He said, “While most cases recover without specific treatment, some people may require hospitalisation, particularly for management of dehydration. Salmonella infections are most often spread via eating undercooked foods, through cross-contamination of foods, or by person-to-person.”