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Extensive Outbreak Of SE In School Children in China

07/18/2022

Food Safety News reported on an outbreak of SE among school children in Guangdong Province in China during 2019*.  It appears characteristic of China that reports of foodborne disease outbreaks and other infections in humans and animals are delayed before publication. This is possibly due to the inordinate number of co-authors and extensive review and authorization requirements extending through successive levels of government.

 

A total of 254 cases were reported to authorities with follow-up on 121 patients comprising preschool children and a few teaching staff.  The vehicle of infection was kitchen-prepared mayonnaise containing raw eggs used to prepare sandwiches fed at a single meal.  Of 113 samples from patients, food, the kitchen environment and the mixing bowl used to produce mayonnaise, 66 SE positives were recorded.  Although trace-back to a market and then back to an egg distributor was possible, the farm supplying eggs was not identified.

 

The authors commented on the lack of standardized reporting, a dearth of reliable databases and variable cooperation among provincial and local health authorities. These deficiencies represent an impediment to investigating cases of foodborne disease in China.

 

In their literature review, the authors note, “Outbreaks associated with shell eggs have continued to occur in the U.S. including a nationwide outbreak that triggered a recall of 500 million eggs “ This is obviously referencing the DeCoster outbreak in Iowa during 2010, over 21 years ago. Since this outbreak no case of SE has been reported from a commercial egg-producing flock operating under the FDA program. This hardly constitutes “continuing”.

 

*Jiang, M. et al, Rapid Multilateral and Integrated Public Health Response to a Cross-City Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Combining Analytical, Molecular and Genomic Epidemiologic Analyses Front.Microbial.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.772489May 4,2022