Warning over duck eggs as Salmonella cases continue

Five new cases of Salmonella were recorded in August as investigations continue into a serious outbreak of the disease that has been linked to the consumption of duck eggs, it was revealed today.

The outbreak is the largest of its type in Ireland recent years, with 24 cases now having been confirmed across the country.

The people infected have ranged from five months to 80 years of age.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reiterated its advice on the safe consumption of duck eggs, saying the latest cases tend to be linked with the consumption of duck eggs from small backyard flocks and private farms.

The FSAI advises to only eat duck eggs that have been thoroughly cooked and not to use raw duck eggs in any dishes that will not be cooked thoroughly prior to eating.

It also reminds of the importance of good hygiene practices, such as washing hands and preparation surfaces after handling or using duck eggs.

Hens' eggs are not implicated in this outbreak.

“The fact that the outbreak is ongoing, underlines the huge importance attached to maintaining stringent hygiene practices when handling raw duck eggs," said FSAI CEO Professor Alan Reilly.

"Even when duck eggs look clean, they may still have Salmonellae on the outside of the shell and sometimes carry it on the inside of the egg,” he said.

The symptoms of Salmonella range from mild discomfort to vomiting and diarrhoea, to life threatening illness.

Infants, pregnant women, the frail elderly and the sick are most at risk from food poisoning.

"Anyone who may have these symptoms and suspects it may have been from recently eating duck eggs should contact their doctor for advice,” continued Prof Reilly.


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