More than 150 sickened, outbreak started late last year

Sweden investigates Salmonella from spices outbreak

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Salmonella illness reported by week (case count 140)
Salmonella illness reported by week (case count 140)

Related tags: Illness

More than 150 people have been sickened by Salmonella in Sweden with authorities linking the illnesses to spice mix.

Folkhälsomyndigheten (the Swedish public health agency) said 153 people have been reported in the outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis which started in December from spice mix (Allkrydda) and some had been hospitalised. 

The agency said it is normally difficult to find the source of an outbreak but its suspicions that the cause was a food with a long shelf life and widespread distribution appear to have been confirmed.

IWI allkrydda
IWI Allkrydda

It added more spices are still being investigated for suspected links to the national Salmonella outbreak as several brands can have the same origin. 

Salmonella Enteritidis, phage type 13a is relatively rare with three to five cases normally being reported each year.

Restaurant case peak

More than half of the patients (95) fell ill after eating at a restaurant on Öland which has been linked to Iwi Allkrydda sold by the company Dimpex. 

The result was the same Salmonella in spice in the patients who become sick due to restaurant food, as well as that from other victims of the nationwide outbreak.

Another manufacturer, Sevan, issued a withdrawal after an illness of Salmonella was linked to its products but it is not part of the restaurant outbreak. 

Sevan allkrydda
Sevan has recalled products

The firm has recalled all its Allkrydda sold since October 2014 as a precaution.

This covers Sevan Allkrydda 900g with barcode 7331217881469, 450g with barcode 7331217881452 and Bucket 5 kg with EAN code 7331217010708. 

Widespread investigation

Livsmedelsverket (the Swedish food agency) said the incident is spread across the country.

It added the usual method of interviewing victims to identify the suspect food worked less well in this case so investigators needed to test food for many different types to find the cause of the disease.

Serbia was the origin for one of the spice mix brands, according to the RASFF portal.

In a normal year about 3,000 Swedes are infected with Salmonella, including around a quarter infected in the country. 

Related topics: Formulation, All Asia-Pacific, Food safety

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