Salmonellosis, mung beans – Sweden (Stockholm)(03): sprouts

ProMED Mail Post
From: Birgitta de Jong

An outbreak of salmonellosis has occurred from popular restaurant in Stockholm as mentioned in earlier postings. The number of reported persons is now 105. The causative agents are S. enterica serotypes Bareilly and Virchow.

The source of the outbreak is believed to be inadequate handling of mung beans during sprouting since no rinsing of the beans was performed. No salmonella were found in food samples from the restaurant including mung beans.

The first reported case had a meal at the restaurant on28 Sep 2006. After 16 Oct 2006, when mung beans sprouts were removed from the menu, no cases were reported.

The Swedish surveillance system includes both reports from the physician caring for the patient and from the laboratory which isolates the microorganism. The report from the physician includes place and country where the patient has contracted the infection. Thereby it is possible to discriminate between domestic and travel-associated cases. In Sweden about 500 to 800 domestic cases are reported each year since the majority of reported cases are travel-associated. The total number of reported cases is about 3500 to 5000 per year. The current outbreak is the largest in the Stockholm area in 25 years.

Birgitta de Jong, MPH, PhD
Epidemiologist, Dept of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention
Stockholm County Council
Stockholm, Sweden
Subsequent Note from Sweden:

December 4, 2006

“In the recent outbreak here in Sweden no commercial sprout producer was involved since it was the restaurant that sprouted the beans. The way they performed the sprouting was very favourable for bacteria growing since the put the unrinsed beans in lukewarm water and let it stand in room temperature for about 24 hours, then the beans with tiny sprouts were rinsed and served at the restaurant. When the outbreak was detected only 100 grams of the batch remained and this amount was analyzed with negative result.”

Birgitta de Jong, MPH, PhD
Stockholm County Councíl
Dept. of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention
Karolinska University Hospital
SE-171 76   Stockholm

Related Article on SproutNet:

“Sprout Related Outbreaks in Sweden” Personal Correspondence with Birgitta de Jong, Epidemiolog/Epidemiologist, Avd. för Epidemilogi/Dept. of Epidemiology, Smittskyddsinstitutet/Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Sweden.