Surveillance and outbreak report Open Access
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Public Health England was alerted to a national outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing O157 PT34 in July 2016. Early investigations suggested that the likely source was a salad item consumed outside of the home. A number of cases reported consuming meals at a staff canteen (Venue A) and a garden café (Venue B). Both venues shared a common salad supplier. An investigation was undertaken to measure associations between salad items and illness using an 'ingredient-based analysis'. A retrospective case–control study was conducted using an online questionnaire to collect information on menu items consumed at each venue. Chefs at both venues were interviewed to identify ingredients contained within each menu item. Both venues were pooled together for multivariable analysis measuring associations at the ingredient level. Among 203 responses, 24 cases were identified (13 confirmed, two probable and nine possible). Case onsets ranged between 7 and 25 June 2016. Multivariable analysis identified strong evidence that only baby mixed-leaf salad from the common supplier was a vehicle of infection (adjusted odds ratio = 13.1; 95% confidence interval: 1.6–106.5). Identifying the specific salad ingredient associated with illness was made possible by using an ingredient-based analysis. We recommend the increased use of ingredient-based analyses.


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