Historically low number of Danes infected with salmonella

June 20, 2014

The number of Danes who contracted a salmonella infection reached a historic low level in 2013. More than half of those infected became ill during a trip abroad. For the third year in a row no salmonella cases were linked to Danish broiler meat. These are some of the findings presented in the annual report on the occurrence of diseases that can be transmitted from animals and food to humans. The report was prepared by the Zoonosis Centre at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, in cooperation with Statens Serum Institut, one of Denmark's largest research institutions in the health sector, and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

In 2013 a total of 1,136 were reported among Danes. This is the lowest number since action plans to combat salmonella were introduced in the 1990s, and is equivalent to 20.3 infected cases per 100,000 inhabitants. More than half of the sick had contracted salmonella during a trip abroad.

Most of those who returned home with a travel-related infection had been to Turkey (31%), where a major of Salmonella Enteritidis occurred in 2013. There were also many cases of salmonella among travellers to Thailand (13%), Egypt (8%) and Spain (6%).

No salmonella illness from Danish broiler meat

According to the 2013 source account no cases of salmonella were attributed to Danish broiler meat.

"Denmark has been a pioneer when it comes to combatting salmonella in broiler meat and eggs. When we look at the figures from the last three years, it is quite evident that the joint efforts of producers, authorities and researchers to make Danish broiler meat salmonella-free have paid off ," National Food Institute senior academic officer Birgitte Helwigh explains.

Salmonella in Danish meat

Among the salmonella cases not associated with travel, Danish pork was the that was associated with the most infections in 2013 – more specifically, approximately 12% of reported salmonella cases. This is an increase from 2012, when the figure was estimated at 8%.

"The increase is primarily due to the fact that last year we had both a national and a local outbreak where Danish pork was the source of infection," Birgitte Helwigh says.

Imported pork was the cause of 2.6% of salmonella cases, and about 25% of all salmonella cases in Denmark could not be attributed to a specific food source or travel abroad.

Other foodborne infections

With 3,766 cases registered in 2013, campylobacter still causes the most cases of foodborne bacterial illnesses in Denmark.

In 2013, a total of 73 foodborne illness outbreaks were registered. An outbreak is an event in which several people become sick from the same food source. In 2012, 82 outbreaks were recorded.

As in previous years, norovirus caused the most outbreaks (38.4%). The largest outbreak was caused by Clostridium perfringens. In this outbreak 425 people became sick after eating patty shells with a sauce containing hen meat and asparagus at an event in North Jutland. In total Clostridium perfringens caused 16 outbreaks. In a Nordic outbreak caused by hepatitis A virus 117 people became ill, including 72 Danes. The source of infection was most probably frozen strawberries.

Explore further: Danes contract Salmonella infections abroad

Related Stories

Danes contract Salmonella infections abroad

July 29, 2013
In 2012 the number of Salmonella cases increased slightly after the record low incidence in 2011. Nearly half of the Danes who contracted Salmonella were infected abroad. Among people infected in Denmark, Danish pork and ...

Food safety specialist says food poisoning cases underreported

June 19, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—You've probably heard of norovirus, salmonella and E. coli, but would you know if you were sick with one of these foodborne illnesses? A Kansas State University food safety specialist says there are distinct ...

Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

April 17, 2014
The government's latest report card on food poisoning is out, and it has some good news: a drop in illnesses from salmonella.

Salmonella linked to chicken ongoing, 524 sickened

May 28, 2014
An outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to a California chicken company continues even after more than a year.

CDC: 103 ill with salmonella tied to mangoes

August 29, 2012
(AP)—Federal health officials are investigating a foodborne illness outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people in 16 states and has been linked to salmonella-tainted mangoes.

Recommended for you

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

October 16, 2017
Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States.

How hepatitis C hides in the body

October 13, 2017
The Hepatitis C (HCV) virus is a sly enemy to have in one's body. Not only does it manage to make itself invisible to the immune system by breaking down communication between the immune cells, it also builds secret virus ...

Largest study yet of malaria in Africa shows historical rates of infection

October 12, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the University of Oxford and the University of KwaZulu-Natal has conducted the largest-ever study of the history of malaria ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.