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Between August 2005 and March 2006 in France, 69 cases of Salmonella enterica serotype Manhattan (Salmonella Manhattan) were reported, 51 (74%) of them from southeastern France. At the time of the alert (November 2005), 13 cases and 33 controls were interviewed. Cases were more likely than controls to have eaten pork sausages (OR=5.9, confidence interval CI [1.3; 26.9]) and beef (OR=9.3, CI [1.3; 68.6]). At the same time, 19 strains of Salmonella Manhattan isolated from meat products in southeastern France, reported to the French food safety agency (Afssa, Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments) in September and November 2005, had an indistinguishable PFGE profile to the 7 human isolates of Salmonella Manhattan from the outbreak in southeastern France. Trace-back investigations revealed that pork samples came from one wholesaler whose pork products had tested positive for S. Manhattan during routine food testing in August 2005. This wholesaler supplied retail outlets in southeastern France. Additionally, a slaughterhouse supplying the wholesaler was inspected and widespread contamination with Salmonella spp. and S. Manhattan was found. Cooperation between the national agencies in charge of human health (Institut de veille sanitaire, InVS) and food safety (Afssa) allowed us to determine the most probable source of contamination and to take appropriate control measures.


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