Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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An outbreak due to the emerging monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium 4,5,12:i:- occurred in four schools in Poitiers in October 2010. Food trace-back investigation led to the identification of beef burgers as the cause of the outbreak and their subsequent withdrawal. The Institute for Public Health Surveillance conducted a retrospective epidemiological investigation to assess the extent of the outbreak and describe cases. Self-administered questionnaires were completed by students and personnel attending each of the four schools affected. Clinical cases were defined as anyone having eaten at the school when the beef burgers were served and reporting diarrhoea or fever with at least one digestive symptom (nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain), within five days after the incriminated school meal or with unknown date of onset within a 15-day period after the incriminated school meal. Of 1,559 persons exposed, 554 clinical cases were identified corresponding to an overall attack rate of 35.5%. Of 554 clinical cases, a total of 286 (53%) sought medical care and 31 (6%) were hospitalised for more than 24 hours. This multi-school outbreak is one of the biggest food-borne outbreaks of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium 4,5,12:i:- described in France. Prompt notification of cases and rapid identification and withdrawal of the incriminated batch of beef burgers was crucial to limit the extension of this outbreak.


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