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The largest Salmonella enterica serovar Newport outbreak (n=106) ever reported in Germany occurred in October and November 2011. Twenty associated cases were reported in the Netherlands. The outbreak investigation included an analytical epidemiological study, molecular typing of human and food isolates and food traceback investigations. Unspecified Salmonella had been detected in samples of mung bean sprouts at a sprout producer (producer A) in the Netherlands and mung bean sprouts contaminated with S. Newport had been found during routine sampling at a sprout distributor in Germany. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis of sprouts being the infection vehicle. In a case-control study, we compared 50 notified adult S. Newport cases with 45 Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis cases regarding their food consumption in the three days before illness. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, only sprout consumption was significantly associated with S. Newport infection (odds ratio: 18.4; 95% confidence interval: 2.2-150.2). Molecular typing patterns of human isolates were indistinguishable from a mung bean sprouts isolate. Traceback of sprouts led to distributors and producer A in the Netherlands. Since sprouts are frequently contaminated with microorganisms, consumers need to be aware that consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked sprouts may pose a health risk. .


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