Norwegian surveillance has found a low level of flour samples positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) commissioned a survey of STEC in wheat flour to gather data on the problem.
A total of 151 samples of flour were collected from retailers in 2021 and analyzed in 2022. Enriched samples were examined for the presence of selected genetic markers. Attempts to isolate STEC were carried out from samples that were positive for Shiga toxin (stx) 1 and/or stx2. Isolates identified as STEC were further characterized using whole genome sequencing.