ECDC rapid risk assessment: multi-country outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to Brazil nuts

27 October 2020

Article: 54/4305

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report that as of 20 October 2020, 123 cases of Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium) ST19 and one case of Salmonella Anatum (S. Anatum) have been recorded. Of these, 105 were in the UK, including the S. Anatum case, 14 were in France, three in Luxembourg and one each in the Netherlands and Canada. A case-control study in the UK, and patient interviews in the UK, France and Luxembourg, indicated Brazil nuts and nut bars as likely vehicles of infections.

Two batches of Brazil nuts from Bolivia, sampled at the British Processing Company B, tested positive for S. typhimurium ST19 (Batch A) and S. Anatum ST64 (Batch B), matching the outbreak strains. The ECDC report that it is likely that the origin of infections is contaminated Brazil nuts, but with the available data, the exact point of contamination cannot be established. Extensive recalls and withdrawals of nut products have been implemented since August 2020.

The ECDC conclude that the outbreak appears to be controlled, and the likelihood of new cases linked to this event is low, but possible. This is largely because nut products have a long shelf-life and people may have purchased the products before control measures were implemented.

Source: ECDC, 21 October 2020