Search icon


31st Mar 2023

Salmonella outbreak in Ireland and other countries linked to kebab meat

Stephen Porzio

kebab meat

There have been several cases in Ireland.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has said that a “persistent cross-border outbreak” of Salmonella that has affected Ireland and several other countries is linked to kebab meat.

Since June 2017, the outbreak of Salmonella Virchow ST16 has been ongoing in five European Union countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands), as well as the UK and the US. A total of 210 cases have been reported, with the ECDC stating that the majority have been linked to kebab meat served in local restaurants.

No deaths have been reported from the outbreak. France is the country that has had the most cases with 111. Ireland, meanwhile, has seen four with two in 2017 and two more in 2018.

The age of the Irish cases ranged from 55 to 84 years. One was male and three were female. All four cases were hospitalised and reported no international travel.

“Two cases reported contact with pet dogs, and one case lived on a farm with exposure to cattle. One of the four cases is possibly a secondary case, likely infected via a household transmission,” a report from the EU health agency reads.

kebab meat

“Likely vehicles of infections”

In regards to the 210 cases in total, the ECDC states that the available information from case interviews, traceback investigations, and whole genome sequencing cluster analysis shows that “kebab meat products containing contaminated chicken meat are the likely vehicles of infections”.

It also said that the Salmonella clone has been circulating in the EU poultry meat production chain at least in France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

“In the absence of batch numbers of the contaminated kebab products and related Salmonella testing information, the source(s) of the infections could not be established,” the ECDC added.

The health agency’s principal expert on food and waterborne diseases Johanna Takkinen said in a statement:

“ECDC encourages countries to sequence S. Virchow isolates from domestically acquired human infections and interview cases with S. Virchow ST16 infections. Investigations should be focused on the consumption of poultry meat and related products and be carried out in close collaboration with food safety authorities. ECDC can support countries with the sequencing of isolates.”

According to the health agency, the number of confirmed cases represents only a small proportion of all infections in the European Economic Area (EEA). This is partly due to the varying sequencing capacities of countries.

The ECDC added:

“New infections are likely to occur in the EU/EEA affecting any age group until further investigations are performed to identify the source(s) and point(s) of contamination along the chicken meat production chain, including the primary production upstream lines. This will allow appropriate control measures to be implemented.”

Related articles:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge


Home News,Kebab