Research-Sources and trends of human Salmonellosis in Europe, 2015-2019: an analysis of outbreak data


Study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. The aim of this study was to determine the main food sources and recent trends of  Salmonella outbreaks in Europe. Data from outbreaks in 34 European countries during the 2015-2019 period are taken into account. 

In general, the most important food source of the salmonellosis outbreaks were eggs, pork series and meat products in general. While eggs were the most important source of infection in all regions, pork was the second most common source in Northern and Western Europe, and meat products (in general) in Eastern and Southern Europe. 

There were 939 outbreaks caused by Salmonella enteritidis , 130 by Salmonella typhimurium and its monophasic variant, 107 by other known serotypes, and 332 by other unknown types.

Complex food categories such as baked goods, buffet meals, mixed foods, sweets and chocolate, canned food products, and beverages were grouped as unknown sources in the analysis because it was not possible to identify the exact components responsible for the infection.

In total, 1,508 salmonella outbreaks were included in the analysis. Of these, 1,040 were caused by simple foods and 468 by unknown food sources. Most of the outbreaks were reported in Eastern Europe, followed by Southern, Western and Northern Europe.

Outbreaks caused by S. enteritidis (SE) and other known serotypes (other than SE and S. typhimurium and its monophasic variant [STM]) were attributed primarily to eggs, whereas outbreaks caused by STM were primarily attributed to the Pork Meat. In general, there was a significant increase in the number of reported outbreaks between 2015 and 2019, mainly due to the increase in outbreaks in Eastern Europe while, in Northern and Southern Europe, outbreaks caused by SE decreased significantly between the years 2015 and 2019. Outbreaks related to the consumption of cheese and fish are steadily declining.

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