The number of Danes who contracted a Salmonella infection reached a historic low level in 2013. More than half of those infected became ill during a trip abroad. For the third year in a row no salmonella cases were linked to Danish broiler meat. These are some of the findings presented in the annual report on the occurrence of diseases that can be transmitted from animals and food to humans. The report was prepared by the Zoonosis Centre at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, in cooperation with Statens Serum Institut, one of Denmark’s largest research institutions in the health sector, and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
In 2013 a total of 1,136 salmonella infections were reported among Danes. This is the lowest number since action plans to combat salmonella were introduced in the 1990s, and is equivalent to 20.3 infected cases per 100,000 inhabitants. More than half of the sick had contracted salmonella during a trip abroad.
Most of those who returned home with a travel-related infection had been to Turkey (31%), where a major outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis occurred in 2013. There were also many cases of salmonella among travellers to Thailand (13%), Egypt (8%) and Spain (6%).
“Denmark has been a pioneer when it comes to combatting salmonella in broiler meat and eggs. When we look at the figures from the last three years, it is quite evident that the joint efforts of producers, authorities and researchers to make Danish broiler meat salmonella-free have paid off ,” National Food Institute senior academic officer Birgitte Helwigh explains.