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An Outbreak of Salmonella Chester Infection in Canada: Rare Serotype, Uncommon Exposure, and Unusual Population Demographic Facilitate Rapid Identification of Food Vehicle

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Abstract:

Salmonella Chester infection has rarely been reported in the literature. In 2010, 33 case patients were reported in 2 months in four Canadian provinces. We conducted an outbreak investigation in collaboration with public health agencies, food safety specialists, regulatory agencies, grocery store chains, and the product distributor. We used case patient interviews, customer loyalty cards, and microbiological testing of clinical and food samples to identify nationally distributed head cheese as the food vehicle responsible for the outbreak. The rare serotype, a limited affected demographic group, and an uncommon exposure led to the rapid identification of the source. Control measures were implemented within 9 days of notification of the outbreak.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-11-408

Affiliations: 1: Epidemiology Services, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3 2: Epidemiology Services, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3., Email: eleni.galanis@bccdc.ca 3: Food Protection Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 4R4 4: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3; Public Health Microbiology and Reference Laboratory, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 4R4 5: Communicable Disease Control, Fraser Health Authority, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada V3H 5C9 6: Communicable Disease Unit, Interior Health, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada V1B 2T1 7: Public Health Protection, Northern Health Authority, Terrace, British Columbia, Canada V8G 4T2 8: Environmental Health Services Vancouver Coastal Health, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada V8A 5R3 9: Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 8J1 10: Enteric Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases, Public Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2B2 11: Population Health Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 6X6 12: PulseNet Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 3P6 13: Office of Food Safety and Recall, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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