Cooked ham bought from small independent butchers could be responsible for an “unusual” outbreak of salmonella in England and Wales, health authorities say.
Nine people are receiving hospital treatment for Salmonella Typhimurium infection and they are among 21 confirmed cases in Wales and 30 in England, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The FSA, Public Health England, Public Health Wales and council environmental health officers are all involved in investigating other potential cases in an outbreak first detected in the Conwy and Gwynedd regions of Wales last month.
More cases are being examined in the Thames Valley, Leeds, Cumbria and Stafford areas of England. The patients involved span a wide age range from as old as 87 to as young as just seven months.
Investigators have found a possible link common to the cases, cooked ham from small butchers shops. The FSA said tests on the meat have not found salmonella but they did uncover other hygiene problems and one of the suppliers of the ham has withdrawn some of its product from sale. Investigations are continuing, the FSA said.
Salmonella infections are often caused by eating contaminated meat, eggs, and dairy products when raw or undercooked. They can cause diarrhoea, fever, stomach cramps and vomiting.
Copyright Press Association 2013