Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

An outbreak of Salmonella dublin infection in England and Wales associated with a soft unpasteurized cows' milk cheese

H. Maguirea1, J. Cowdena1, M. Jacoba2, B. Rowea3, D. Robertsa4, J. Brucea1 and E. Mitchella1

a1 Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre

a2 Ministry of Health, London

a3 Division of Enteric Pathogens

a4 Food Hygiene Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, Public Health Laboratory Service, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT

SUMMARY

An outbreak of Salmonella dublin infection occurred in England and Wales in October to December 1989. Forty-two people were affected, mainly adults, and most lived in south-east England. Microbiological and epidemiological investigations implicated an imported Irish soft unpasteurized cows' milk cheese as the vehicle of infection. A case-control study showed a statistically significant association between infection and consumption of the suspect cheese (p = 0·001). Salmonella dublin was subsequently isolated from cheeses obtained from the manufacturer's premises. Initial control measures included the withdrawal of the cheese from retail sale and a Food Hazard Warning to Environmental Health Departments, as well as a press release, from the Department of Health. Subsequently, a decision was taken by the manufacturer to pasteurize milk used in the production of cheese for the UK market and importation of the cheese resumed in June 1990.

(Accepted July 12 1992)

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