Spanish eggs eyed as possible source of UK Salmonella outbreaks; 2 dead, 5 hospitalized, hundreds sick in 14 outbreak clusters since August

U.K. health types are investigating two deaths linked to a surge in cases of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type (PT) 14b since mid-August.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said a total of 14 clusters in England and Wales have been linked to a number of different catering establishments and one care home.

To date, 443 cases have been reported to the Health Protection Agency this year, compared with 137 in 2008.

It is understood two deaths of people at the care home in Sunderland have been linked to salmonella poisoning.

An FSA spokesman said,

"Although there is no conclusive evidence yet, the clusters may be linked to eggs sourced from outside the UK and used in these establishments. Investigations are ongoing into a possible link to eggs sourced from an approved establishment in Spain, and the UK and Spanish authorities are working in close cooperation to investigate this."

Seven of the recent outbreaks – or clusters – are linked to Chinese or Thai restaurants, three to cafes, one to an Italian restaurant, one to a kebab shop and one to a roadside van.