a1 Public Health Laboratory Service, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London NW9 5EQ
a2 Central Public Health Laboratory, London NW9 5HT
a3 Department of Health and Social Security, London, SE1
a4 Instituto Superiore Di Sanita, Rome, Italy
An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning in Europe caused by contaminated lasagne was detected and monitored by both national and international surveillance systems. The common source was a pasta-producing factory in Italy and high levels of Staphylococcus aureus were detected in packets of dried lasagne distributed in Luxembourg, the UK, France and Italy. Forty-seven cases were reported in the UK. Outbreaks of staphylococcal food poisoning attributed to mishandling during the food processing stage are uncommon and pasta as the food vehicle is rare. Prompt recognition of the outbreak and rapid identification of the food vehicle enabled most of the consignment to be withdrawn from the market.
(Received May 14 1985)
(Accepted September 16 1985)