Outbreak report Open Access
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Cases of illness were reported to Hertsmere Borough Council among attendees of a children’s charity event in June 2006. Initial laboratory investigation identified Salmonella Enteritidis PT13a as a possible cause of the outbreak. We carried out an unmatched case-control investigation. The population at risk included all individuals who attended the event. Self-completion questionnaires were sent to 53 presumptive cases and 212 randomly selected potential controls. Information was available for 49 cases and 128 controls (overall response rate=75%). We calculated odds ratios from single and multivariable analysis and tested for all two-way interactions. Risk factors for diarrhoea were eating egg mayonnaise bagels (OR=34.1, 95%CI 10.5 – 111.3) and drinking apple juice (OR=16.1, 95% CI 3.5 – 74.2). There was weak statistical evidence to suggest that the risk of diarrhoea after eating egg mayonnaise bagels was greater in the afternoon. No food samples were available to confirm which food item might have caused this outbreak. Eggs from Spain were used by the caterer. The ecology of salmonella, experience from previous outbreaks and epidemiological findings from this case-control investigation suggest that the most likely cause of the outbreak was contaminated eggs.


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