West Australians are being warned to avoid eating raw or partly cooked eggs because of a surge in cases of salmonella food poisoning. Reports of salmonella gastroenteritis are at records levels and have been linked to particular molecular types associated with eggs. The WA Health Department said yesterday there had been 713 reported infections from salmonella typhimurium by the end of April, which was more than four times the usual number. The infection was commonly associated with consumption of foods containing raw or under-cooked eggs. A number of egg brands had been implicated. The cases of the salmonella infection had been increasing in WA since 2015 but had accelerated since late last year. There are two molecular subtypes, PFGE1 and PFGE43, that are currently causing most of this increase. Epidemiological evidence from investigations of identified localised outbreaks and a large case-control study of community cases indicates that eating raw or runny eggs is a significant cause of illness. This includes breakfast dishes containing eggs, and desserts and aioli made with raw eggs. Environmental investigations indicated some outbreaks had been caused by poor handling of egg products at the food manufacturing and preparation level and by consumers.