Large outbreak of salmonella phage type 1 infection with high infection rate and severe illness associated with fast food premises

I. Giraudon, S. Cathcart*, S. Blomqvist, A. Littleton, S. Surman-Lee, A. Mifsud, S. Anaraki, G. Fraser

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: To describe the epidemiology of an outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 1 (PT1) infection associated with a fast food premises, and to identify the causative factors leading to an acute outbreak with high attack rate and severe illness including hospital admission. Study design: Integrated descriptive study of epidemiology, food and environmental microbiology, and professional environmental health assessment, supplemented by a case-case analytical study. Methods: Cases were identified through multiple sources and were interviewed to identify food items consumed. Descriptive epidemiology of all cases and a case-case analytical study of risk factors for severe illness were undertaken. Microbiological investigation included analysis and typing of pathogens from stools, blood and environmental surfaces. Professional environmental heath assessment of the premises was undertaken. Results: S. enteritidis PT1 was recovered from two-thirds of faecal samples. Three cases had dual infection with enterotoxin-producing Clostridium perfringens. S. enteritidis PT1 was isolated from 14 of 40 food samples examined and C. perfringens was isolated from eight food samples. Environmental health inspection of the premises revealed multiple deficiencies, including deficits in food preparation and hygiene consistent with multiple cross-contamination, and time-temperature abuse of sauces widely used across menu items. Severe cases were associated with consumption of chips and salad. Conclusions: Outbreaks from fast food premises have been infrequently described. This outbreak demonstrates the potential for fast food premises, with multiple deficiencies in food preparation and hygiene, to produce large, intense community outbreaks with high attack rates and severe illness, highly confined in space and time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)444-447
    Number of pages4
    JournalPublic Health
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


    • Clostridium
    • Enteric infection
    • Fast food
    • Food poisoning
    • Salmonella
    • Takeaway restaurant


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