On 15 August 2012, an increase in the number of Salmonella Thompson cases was noticed by the Salmonella surveillance in the Netherlands. A case–control study was performed, followed by a food investigation. In total 1,149 cases were laboratory-confirmed between August and December 2012 of which four elderly (76–91 years) were reported to have died due to the infection. The cause of the outbreak was smoked salmon processed at a single site.
This is the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever recorded in the Netherlands. The temporary closure of the processing site and recall of the smoked salmon stopped the outbreak. An estimated four to six million Dutch residents were possibly exposed to the contaminated smoked salmon and an estimated 23,000 persons would have had acute gastroenteritis with S. Thompson during this outbreak.
This outbreak showed that close collaboration between diagnostic laboratories, regional public health services, the national institute for public health and the food safety authorities is essential in outbreak investigations.
Eurosurveillance, Volume 19, Issue 39
Friesema I, de Jong A, Hofhuis A, Heck M, van den Kerkhof H, de Jonge R, Hameryck D, Nagel K, van Vilsteren G, van Beek P, Notermans D, and van Pelt W.