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During an ongoing investigation into a nosocomial outbreak of S. Enteritidis PT 6a (Nx, CpL) in London, where raw shell eggs were being used, the London Food, Water and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (LFWE) tested 402 raw shell eggs obtained from the premises. Two hundred and forty of these were labelled as imported, and four of the 40 samples of six pooled whole eggs were positive. The Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens (LEP) at the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (PHLS CDSC) confirmed the presence of S. Enteritidis PT 6 (one sample), S. Enteritidis PT 13a (one sample) and S. Enteritidis PT 14b (one sample). Of the 27 samples from the unlabelled eggs (162 eggs) one sample was positive for S. Enteritidis PT 6. Results are awaited on the final isolate. Since the raw eggs have been withdrawn from use no further cases have occurred. Hospitals in the United Kingdom are reminded that advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer in 1988 that raw shell eggs should be replaced with pasteurised eggs in recipes in institutions with high risk groups (1) is extant and must be adhered to if vulnerable patients are not to be put at risk.


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