Eggs once again likely source of Australia salmonella outbreak

Australia still has an egg problem.

So much so we made up a table of raw-egg related outbreaks in Australia (thanks Gonzalo and Sol) available at http://bites.ksu.edu/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia.

A month after 22 were sickened at a popular Canberra café from raw egg in mayonnaise, it now appears some sort of raw egg thingy is responsible for up to 19 illnesses and possibly one death linked to a Ballarat pizza joint.

Melbourne’s The Age reports tonight that eggs are the suspected source of a salmonella outbreak at Rizzo’s Pizza in Ballarat, which was closed for one week.

A department spokesman today confirmed there were 14 confirmed cases of salmonella poisoning linked to the restaurant, and another five suspected cases.

The man who died tested positive to salmonella and had eaten at the pizzeria, but the precise cause of his death was yet to be determined by the man’s doctor, the spokesman said.

The state Department of Health, local council types and the restaurant have been less than forthcoming with information.

The department spokesman said eggs were the likely cause of the outbreak, although it was unclear whether the outbreak was related to their storage or food handling.

The restaurant declined to comment.

An update: The Herald-Sun added some more details.

The salmonella outbreak has been traced to undercooked pizzas containing egg.

 

One man who claims he ate the pizzas, Matthew Campbell (right, photo from Herald-Sun), allegedly lost 8kg from severe food poisoning and is calling for the shop to be closed down permanently.

 

"I was sick for two weeks. That’s how I spent my Christmas break, on the toilet. It felt like I’d swallowed a ball of thumbtacks.”

 

Another Ballarat resident claims she was faced with a $500 vet bill after her cat’s organs began to fail after it was fed a bit of pizza.

 

Customers were still unwittingly buying pizzas from the shop tonight, unaware health officials ordered it be shut down for a week on December 30 after it began investigating a salmonella cluster in the regional city.

 

The Ballarat City Council is now responsible for pursuing any penalties against the pizzeria and has refused to rule out the possibility of charges of breaching the Food Safety Act.