Sweden – At least 100 ill in Swedish Cryptosporidium salad outbreak

Food Safety News

water contamination

A rise in Cryptosporidium infections in Sweden has been attributed to contaminated salad by public health officials.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) said 101 cases of a certain type of Cryptosporidium parvum had been confirmed in 13 regions of the country.

Patients fell ill from Sept. 25 to Oct. 15 this year and women were more affected than men. Cases range from 4 to 86 years old with an average age of 42.

Link to salad
The agency added there are another 99 potential cases being investigated. The type of Cryptosporidium parvum involved is common so there could be several possible sources.

Local infection control units, the Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and Folkhälsomyndigheten investigated the increase in infections to find a source.

Analysis of information from patients on what they had eaten before becoming ill shows they ate mixed or bagged salad more often than a control group.

Salad has a short shelf life so health officials don’t think it is still available for sale but no products have been sampled.

Livsmedelsverket has looked into possible producers and growers but has been unable to find the likely source of infection.

As reported cases of Cryptosporidium have decreased and are at similar levels to previous years, officials believe the outbreak is over.

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