Contaminated sausages 'kill 12 people' in Denmark listeria outbreak
Authorities traced bacteria back to 'Rullepoelse' from factory near Copenhagen
Wednesday 13 August 2014
A listeria outbreak caused by contaminated sausages is believed to have caused the deaths of at least 12 people in Denmark.
Officials traced the deadly bacteria back to a meat producer in Hedehusene, near Copenhagen.
Steen Ethelberg, from the national health agency Statens Serum Institut (SSI), said listeriosis, caused by the contamination, hit elderly people and those weakened by other illnesses.
Eight people known to be infected since the start of the outbreak have survived and the SSI is working to find any other cases.
The first person died on 13 September and the latest recorded death was on 9 August, with most deaths coming in the last three months, authorities said.
Mr Ethelberg called the outbreak “serious” but said it was believed to be under control after the authorities traced the source of the bacteria to rolled pork sausages called Rullepoelse.
The popular product is typically made of flattened pork belly stuffed with spices and herbs, which is then rolled up, sliced and served cold.
Danish sliced rolled meat speciality called Rullepoelse By comparing cells from the infection in the 20 patients with listeria bacteria in several products made by Jørn A. Rullepølser, the SSI linked the outbreak to the company.
Its factory was immediately shut down after the discovery on Monday and 20 employees were sent home as sales stopped.
All products were recalled but it was not immediately clear whether any had been exported. Officials are checking whether any were sent to schools or restaurants.
The company has been investigated by food authorities before, Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reported.
In 1999, a batch of cooked brisket was withdrawn after listeria was found, and in 2012 it was ordered to withdraw a batch of saveloys.
Christina Lowies Jensen, from Jørn A. Rullepølser, told Denmark’s TV2 station they were first contacted by the food administration on Monday.
"This is completely incomprehensible for us. It is a very complex case and we don't understand what went wrong," she said.
Listeria causes the infection listeriosis, which can be fatal in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
The bacteria can have particularly harmful effects on pregnant women, including miscarriage and stillbirths.
In most people, listeriosis is mild and causes symptoms including a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea that usually pass within three days without the need for treatment.
Additional reporting by Reuters
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Kim Jong-un proves 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...