Salmonella case increase linked to poultry imported from Poland - as warning issued

More than 200 people have become ill this year with a strain of salmonella linked to poultry and eggs imported from Poland, prompting a warning from health officials. 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are warning people to take care when handling and cooking poultry products at home.

The FSA is investigating a recent rise in cases of salmonella food poisoning linked to poultry from Poland.

"A number of the cases have involved the consumption of eggs produced in Poland and used in meals in restaurants and cafes," said Tina Potter, head of incidents at the FSA.

"We are therefore asking local authorities to remind food businesses about the importance of good hygiene practices."

The FSA is in discussion with officials in Poland and the EU to make sure steps are taken to improve the safety of poultry and eggs imported from Poland.

The FSA's advice to people preparing poultry at home is:

• Follow cooking and storage instructions on the product label, including the cooking time and temperature
• Use or freeze products by their use-by date
• Wash hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry products
• Never wash raw poultry products
• Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot soapy water after contact with raw poultry
• Only reheat cooked and frozen meat once.

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Salmonella causes stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

"Symptoms typically resolve themselves within a few days, however, they can be more severe with fever and dehydration, especially in young children, those who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems," Lesley Larkin, the UKHSA's deputy director for gastrointestinal infections said.

Salmonella can be spread from person to person as well as from food, she warned.

"Anyone affected should follow good hygiene practices, such as washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and avoiding handling food for others where possible, if you have symptoms."