In a follow-up on the salmonella outbreak linked to three Angkor Bakery stores in South Australia, health officials report today that the number of cases of Salmonella linked to this outbreak has risen to 51, including 19 people who required hospitalization.

Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Salmonella bacteria (red)/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

In addition, the investigation into the outbreak reveals the likely source of contamination was related to handling of raw egg products.

SA Health’s Acting Director of Public Health Services, Dr Fay Jenkins, said a number of food and environmental samples collected from all stores last week returned positive results for Salmonella.

“Given the sample results and the strain of the Salmonella outbreak, it is most likely that the cause of contamination was related to handling raw egg products,” Dr Jenkins said.

“The owners of the Angkor Bakery stores continue to work closely with the local councils and SA Health to improve their practices, and all three bakeries closed voluntarily during the investigation.

“Following the remediation work, subsequent tests returned negative results for Salmonella, and all three of the businesses are able to reopen. They will be closely monitored by the local council.”

Raw egg products can be risky ingredients if they are not appropriately handled, and safe handling practices should be followed by businesses and in the home.

“Many food poisoning outbreaks have been associated with foods containing raw or partially cooked eggs such as aioli, mayonnaise, hollandaise or tartare sauce and mousse,” Dr Jenkins said.

“The external shell of eggs may contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, and while eggs may not necessarily look or smell ‘off’ they may be contaminated.

“It’s important to check that eggs are clean and not cracked or dirty – and those that are should be thrown out.

“Preparation surfaces and utensils should be thoroughly washed, sanitised and dried after handling eggs, and remember to think of raw eggs like raw meat, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.”