Category Archives: EIEC

Denmark – Three people died in Danish E. coli outbreak; dozens more infected

Food Safety News

Danish authorities have revealed three people died in an E. coli outbreak this past year. Imported spring onions were investigated as the source.

An update by the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) revealed that from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31, 2021, 85 people were infected with EIEC.

Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) is usually associated with travel diarrhea but the patients had not been abroad.

It was previously reported that 68 people were ill in the outbreak linked to spring onions from Egypt via a Dutch supplier that were used in ready-to-eat salads.

Enteroinvasive E. coli was isolated from 36 patients and the remaining 47 were PCR positive for a gene specific to Shigella species and EIEC.

Further analysis identified two E. coli types in the outbreak: O136:H7 and O96:H19 with confirmation by whole genome sequencing.

RASFF Alert – EIEC Outbreak – Spring Onions


Spring onions from Egypt suspected to be the source of an outbreak of EIEC in Denmark

Denmark – Major outbreak of E. coli is probably due to spring onions in ready-to-eat cabbage salad


The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has seen an increase in the number of registered patients due to a special Escherichia coli (EIEC) in Denmark since 23 November 2021. The investigation shows that the source of infection is probably spring onions used in ready-to-eat cabbage salads, which are sold in three different retail chains.

Last edited December 27, 2021
Since mid-December, SSI, in collaboration with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the DTU Food Institute and the clinical microbiological departments at the country’s hospitals, has been investigating the disease outbreak. From 23 November to 17 December 2021, 68 infections have been registered; 43 women and 25 men aged 1-91 years, and 20 people have been admitted to the hospital. The sick live throughout the country, except for the North Jutland region.

“This disease outbreak is unusual and extensive with 68 cases in three weeks. EIEC is a bacterium that usually affects travelers who have been to countries outside of Europe. When we saw a sudden increase in EIEC infection in Denmark, we were aware that there must be infection via a food ”
Epidemiologist Luise Müller from SSI

Ready-to-eat cabbage salad with spring onions

Interviews of patients have shown that several had eaten ready-made cabbage salads, and studies of purchasing data showed that the cabbage salads were purchased in the period from 15 to 30 November. Further investigation and tracing is still underway to uncover how the salads have been contaminated with the coli bacterium. For the time being, this indicates that the pollution has occurred at a subcontractor abroad.

The salads have been sold in i.a. REMA1000, COOP and Menu stores. They have a short shelf life of six days, and therefore there is no current risk with the cabbage salads that are on the shelves now.

Infects through food

EIEC is an intestinal bacterium that, like salmonella and campylobacter, typically spreads through food. Symptoms of an EIEC infection are acute stomach infection with diarrhea, general malaise, abdominal pain, possibly nausea, vomiting, and / or fever. The infection usually goes away on its own. Severe infections can manifest as dysentery (ie stool with blood, mucus and pus, fever and affected general condition).

What should you do if you have eaten that coleslaw?

If you have not had symptoms of an EIEC infection, or if you have had symptoms that have gone away on their own, do not do anything. In case of persistent symptoms or doubts, you can contact your own doctor.

Read more

Read more about E. coli infection
Read more about the EIEC outbreak

Denmark – Denmark searches for source of new E. coli outbreak (EIEC)

Food Safety News

Denmark is investigating an increase in the number of registered cases of a type of E. coli reported in the past month.

Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) is usually associated with travel diarrhea but the patients in the current outbreak have not been abroad, which suggests a common food may have made people sick, according to the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

Between Nov. 23 and Dec. 16, 63 infected people with EIEC or ipaH-positive were registered at the Statens Serum Institut and 18 of them have been hospitalized.

EIEC was isolated from 22 patients and the remaining 41 are PCR positive for the invasion plasmid antigen H (ipaH) gene, which is specific to Shigella species and EIEC.

Patients live all over the country, and there are 43 women and 20 men sick. They are aged from 1 to 91 years old with a median age of 53.

Hovedstaden has the most cases with 23, Sjælland has 19, Midtjylland has 14 and seven live in Syddanmark.

The Statens Serum Institut, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) and DTU Food Institute are trying to find the source of infection.

Sweden – First recorded EIEC outbreak in Sweden linked to leafy greens – E.coli

Food Safety News

Researchers have shed more light on the first recorded enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) outbreak in Sweden.

The outbreak in the county of Halland in 2017 had 83 self-reported infections and one secondary case attributed to household transmission, based on a study published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

Leafy greens were suspected to be behind the outbreak as this item was in a number of dishes associated with illnesses. There was no microbiological evidence to identify the source or vehicle of infection, but contaminated salad greens have been linked to previous EIEC outbreaks.

All five staff members at the conference and hotel venue that met the case definition had symptom onset at least one day after the first reported case among venue visitors.