Argentina – Tainted meat linked to two deaths in Argentina

Food Safety News

Argentinian officials have confirmed leptospirosis and Salmonella in an outbreak that has killed two people.

Authorities in Buenos Aires reported that four adults were hospitalized in the city of Berazategui in early 2023. Salmonella and Shigella were detected in the fatal cases and in one patient it was Salmonella Typhimurium. Leptospirosis was also confirmed in two cases under investigation.

The deaths were in two men aged 48 and 36. A 40-year-old patient was discharged from the hospital at the end of January while a 47-year-old is recovering.

Initial investigations found all patients had a recent history of eating meat and meat products such as offal. Authorities said this led them to suspect a common food as the source of the outbreak.

In two cases, there was a link to a butcher shop. However, testing of seized products was negative for Salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella. For another patient, one food sample was positive for Salmonella.

Samples were sent for analysis to the National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) and National Food Institute (INAL). Authorities in Berazategui also closed one butcher shop because of hygiene problems.

Bacteria that cause leptospirosis are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and survive for weeks to months. People can get infected by consuming contaminated food or water.

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