A campylobacter outbreak associated with stir-fried food
An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness affecting 12 of 29 customers of a ‘Hawaiian’ theme restaurant specializing in stir-fried food occurred in Cardiff, Wales in February 1997. Campylobacter jejuni serotype HS50 phage type 49 (PT49) was isolated from 5 cases. A total of 47 isolates of C. jejuni HS50 PT49 were identified from Wales during 1997, of which 11 were isolated in late February or early March and from the Cardiff area. In the outbreak, illness was associated with eating stir-fried chicken pieces (relative risk 4·81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·76–30·44, P=0·03) and a dose-response relationship between risk of illness and amount of chicken consumed was observed (χ2-test for linear trend 3·96, P=0·047). Undercooking of chicken was probably due to a combination of inadequate cooking time and use of large chicken pieces. This is the first time that stir-fried food has been associated with a campylobacter outbreak. The incident also illustrates the value of routine campylobacter subtyping in supporting outbreak investigation.(Accepted May 5 1998)
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