Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Number of salmonella infections stable, more outbreaks detected

Thursday 13 Sep 18

Contact

Birgitte Helwigh
Senior Scientific Officer
National Food Institute
+45 40 21 19 62

Contact

Luise Müller
Epidemiologist
Statens Serum Institut
+45 32 68 85 90

The number of Danes, who fell ill with a salmonella infection in 2017, is in line with recent years. At the sametime, new methods detect more outbreaks. These are some of the findings from the annual report on the incidence of foodborne diseases.

In 2017, a total of 1,067 salmonella infections were reported among Danes. This is one of the findings from the 2017 annual report on the incidence of foodborne diseases in Denmark. The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has prepared the report in cooperation with Statens Serum Institut – the national institute of public health – and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The number of salmonella infections has remained stable over the past seven years.

Approximately half of the salmonella infections in 2017 were associated with travel abroad. People most often brought the infections back from trips to Thailand or Turkey.

New methods detect more outbreaks

In 2017, a total of 63 foodborne disease outbreaks were recorded compared to 49 in 2016. This includes 25 salmonella outbreaks, which is twice as many as the year before. The increase is presumably because new methods detect more outbreaks.

”Statens Serum Institut has used whole genome sequencing since 2017 to type bacteria from all salmonella patients in Denmark. This is a more accurate method of identifying the bacteria’s DNA and as such the correlation between patients. When we are able to cluster patients, we can also work in a more targeted way to identify the foods that are making people sick,” Epidemiologist Luise Müller from Statens Serum Institut explains.

Pork is the leading cause of salmonella cases in Denmark
"We are pleased that once again we see no registered cases of illness related to Danish chicken meat. In fact, salmonella has not been detected in Danish chicken meat in five out of the last seven years"
Senior Scientific Officer Birgitte Helwigh

Danish pork was the food that caused the most infections among persons infected with salmonella in Denmark. Danish pork was the registered source in 8.2% of the infections, followed by imported pork and chicken meat (6.9% and 3.5% respectively). In 2017, no infections were caused by Danish chicken meat.

”We are pleased that once again we see no registered cases of illness related to Danish chicken meat. In fact, salmonella has not been detected in Danish chicken meat in five out of the last seven years,” Senior Scientific Officer Birgitte Helwigh from the National Food Institute says.

Campylobacter leading cause of foodborne infections

Campylobacter continued to be the cause of most of the registered foodborne infections in Denmark in 2017 with 4,257 cases of illness. Two outbreaks of campylobacter were recorded in 2017, which made 72 people ill. Both outbreaks were related to consumption of unpasteurized milk.

In May 2018, the authorities launched a new actions plan for 2018-2021 aimed at reducing the number of campylobacter infections. The overall goal is to reduce the number of registered human infections by 5% a year until 2021. The plan is based among other things on analyses, studies and advice from the National Food Institute and Statens Serum Institut.

Read more 

See the full report on the National Food Institute’s website: Annual Report on Zoonoses in Denmark 2017 (pdf). You can also have the printed report sent to you by contacting Division Secretary Anne Jørgensen, anga@food.dtu.dk.

 
https://www.food.dtu.dk/english/news/nyhed?id=8b8dc5db-43a5-4939-bd58-50dc929563bc
15 NOVEMBER 2018