An investigation by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration found salmonella in a batch of frozen chicken kebab meat from Poland, and the batch was withdrawn from the market.
Further analyzes have shown that it is the same type of salmonella that has made 22 people sick in Denmark in the period May to August 2023. It is estimated that more people may have been infected, as not all infected people go to the doctor and are tested for salmonella. The frozen chicken kebab products have mainly been sold to restaurants.
“The investigation into this salmonella outbreak has been extensive – partly there has been international collaboration comparing salmonella samples from humans and food, and partly we in the Danish food emergency department have interviewed patients and unraveled where the chicken kebab meat they had eaten came from. We have now found a clear connection between the salmonella type in the chicken kebab meat and the salmonella type in the Danish cases,” says epidemiologist at the Statens Serum Institut, Luise Müller.
“Generally, it is the restaurant’s responsibility that consumers do not get sick from the food that is served. The salmonella bacteria cannot survive heat treatment above 75 degrees,” says Senior researcher and research group leader at the DTU Food Institute Marianne Sandberg.
Head of unit Lene Mølsted Jensen from the Danish Food and Drug Administration states: “The chicken kebab meat from Poland was pre-fried and intended to be further heat-treated before eating. It is therefore an important lesson for restaurants and kebab places that in the future they pay attention to the handling and frying of chicken kebab meat to avoid this happening again.”
In the coming time, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration will keep an extra eye on whether other batches of chicken products from Poland may be contaminated with salmonella.
If you have not had symptoms of a salmonella infection, or if you have had symptoms that have resolved on their own, do not take any action. In case of persistent symptoms or questions, you can contact your own doctor.
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