Hundreds sickened in Dutch-US salmonella outbreak

October 1, 2012

Hundreds of consumers in the Netherlands and the United States have been sickened by salmonella after eating smoked salmon produced at a Dutch fish factory, health authorities said Monday.

In the Netherlands "some 200 people have fallen ill through contaminated salmon" while in the US about 100 people were infected "by the same type of salmonella", said the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) in the Netherlands.

"The real number of infected people (is) likely to be higher," the RIVM added in a statement, saying smoked salmon made by Dutch fish producer Foppen has been taken off the shelves and removed from storage fridges.

Foppen supplies smoked salmon to major supermarket chains including retail giant Albert Heijn, Dutch food and NVWA said in a statement.

It warned consumers not to eat any Foppen salmon already bought at supermarkets, which had been advised to take the product off their shelves.

"An international recall is being prepared," the RIVM added, referring to salmon sold in the United States.

The NVWA rang alarm bells Friday, issuing a recall and advising consumers not to eat smoked salmon produced by Foppen.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) website.

The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. However in some, may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalised, the said.

A California-based company in April issued a recall of 58,828 pounds (26,683 kilograms)of a ground fish product known as "tuna scrape," imported to the United States from India, after a sickened 116 people.

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