Salad on takeaways is linked to salmonella

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The salad in takeaway burgers and sandwiches is the prime suspect behind the surge in cases of salmonella typhimurium DT104, a serious form of food poisoning that has caused one death and affected scores of people across the country.

The salad in takeaway burgers and sandwiches is the prime suspect behind the surge in cases of salmonella typhimurium DT104, a serious form of food poisoning that has caused one death and affected scores of people across the country.

Some 372 cases of the illness, which is resistant to treatment with antibiotics, had been identified between 1 August and 13 September - more than double the numer of cases in the same period last year. Seven people have been admitted to hospital and two developed septicaemia (blood poisoning). One, amiddle-aged man, died.

Cases are concentrated in the West Midlands and the North-west and are most common in people in their twenties, among the biggest consumers of fast food. However, cases have also been identified throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland and in all age groups, making the source of the illness difficult to trace.

The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) said it was concentrating its investigations in the Midlands and the North-west after noting "particular microbiological features" that suggested the cases in those regions might be linked.

"The investigations indicate that people who had been ill were more likely than people who had not been ill to have eaten lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in baguettes, sandwiches, burgers or kebabs eaten away from home or purchased from takeaways in the three days prior to onset of illness," the PHLS said.

Salmonella typhimurium DT104 started in cattle but spread to pigs, sheep, chicken and even household pets. Salad can be contaminated by manure and requires careful washing. However, the illness was not linked with salad prepared and eaten at home or that bought from any main supermarket chain or fast food outlet, the PHLS said.

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