Matt Johnston of the Herald Sun reports that Victoria is battling a major outbreak of salmonella and bacteria-related illnesses which has experts desperately searching for a cause.
In the past two months 72 cases of foodborne infections have been reported to the Department of Health — including 46 identified in one June week alone.
The average number of salmonella reports each month is about six.
Despite the outbreak, a clear pattern has not been identified and experts have been unable to pin down a suspect food source.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy has issued a blanket food-safety warning. “All Victorians should remember to take care when preparing food at home, especially during the winter months, to prevent food turning nasty,” she said.
In the first six months of this year there were 67 per cent more cases compared to the last six months of 2015.
Also, Melbourne’s opulent Langham Hotel has been charged over a salmonella outbreak that left 90 diners violently ill.
The high tea crisis, which was triggered by raw egg mayonnaise, put 16 people in hospital last year.
The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal Melbourne City Council has charged the hotel over its handling and service of unsafe food and noncompliance with the Food Standards Code.
The case will be heard in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in October.
Six people have been hospitalized and at least another 28 struck down by a Salmonella outbreak after attending High Tea in Melbourne’s prestigious Langham Hotel.
Check the egg-based dishes.
Health authorities investigating the outbreak have so far tracked down 66 people who attended the Langham’s luxury afternoon teas on July 11 and 12 and confirmed 34 cases of Salmonella, although the numbers may rise.
The Department of Health has confirmed six of the most serious cases had to attend hospital, but details of their condition have not been released.
Victoria’s latest Salmonella scare comes amid a worrying escalation in food poisonings, with confirmed salmonellosis cases soaring by an alarming 130 per cent in the past six years, to 3,693 cases in 2014.
Already this year there have been 2,124 Salmonella notifications, though Victorians are yet to hit the most dangerous months when warmer temperatures allow the bacteria to quickly multiply.
The Langham accommodates some of Melbourne’s most high-profile guests, but it is not yet known if any prominent clients have been caught up in the food poisoning.