A national outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis affecting 156 people in the UK is being investigated by Public Health England (PHE).

Cases have occurred as isolate clusters over several months and have been managed locally, but are now being reassessed as potentially linked. Cases have also been seen in Austria and France.

Dr. Pauly Cleary, a consulting epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation said: “Testing using genetic methods has revealed that all of the cases are infected with closely related strains, indicating that the cause of the illness is from a single source.

“Some food and environmental samples from catering outlets have tested positive for Salmonella with the same genetic profile as seen in the outbreak cases. “

The British Egg Industry Council notes that the type of Salmonella identified, Salmonella enteritidis PT14b has not been found in UK eggs and has previously been linked to Salmonella outbreaks in the UK from imported eggs.

If further notes that Salmonella has been effectively eliminated from British eggs, but a significant amount of imported eggs are still being bought by some wholesalers and caterers. 

PHE will continue to work with the UK’s Food Standards Agency, local authorities and other public health organizations in Europe to investigate the source of the outbreak.