A Victorian egg supplier is, according to The Age, under investigation and one person has ongoing health issues following Canberra’s largest salmonella outbreak, which has left health professionals ”struck by the severity” of the symptoms and high infection rate.
The outbreak, which affected 140 people and hospitalized 15 in mid-May, was traced back to raw egg mayonnaise served at the Copa Brazilian restaurant in Dickson. But ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly confirmed on Wednesday that the focus had turned to an egg producer in Victoria who supplied eggs to the Copa.
”We have actually sourced the eggs back to a supplier in Victoria, and our colleagues in Victoria have commenced an investigation of that particular place,” Dr Kelly said.
He also said so far results were pointing towards typhimurium phage type 170 as the specific bacterium, and clinicians at the territory’s hospitals had told ACT Health they’d never seen an outbreak with such strong symptoms.
”We were really struck by the severity of the symptoms and also the high attack rate – almost everyone that ate there got sick,” Dr Kelly said.
”Really, it was just the raw eggs. I really wish people would just stop using them.”
Dr Kelly said of 10 food poisoning outbreaks last year, half were salmonella-related, and four of those were traced back to raw egg products. He would like to see a national approach to combating the issue. ”At the moment there’s no law against using raw eggs. There is a law under the Food Act in the ACT and in other jurisdictions about … supplying unhealthy food to people. That is a breach of the law. I would argue that supplying food that has salmonella in it is pretty unhealthy,” he said.
Why any restaurant would serve raw egg mayo and incur the risk is beyond comprehension.
But, this is Australia, and Australia has an egg problem; or an egg denial problem.
A table of raw-egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia.