15 July update: Monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to chocolate products

Epidemiological update

As of 15 July 2022, 401 confirmed (n=399) and probable (n=2) cases of monophasic S. Typhimurium have been identified in the EU/EEA and the United Kingdom. This is an increase of nine cases since the last update on 3 June 2022. The latest reported case is from the UK with sampling date on 16 June 2022. In addition, cases have been identified in Canada (n=4), Switzerland (n=49), and United States (n=1), bringing the total number of cases to 455 globally.

This outbreak is characterised by high proportion of hospitalised (about 40%) cases, most of these are children below 10 years of age, and some cases with severe clinical symptoms like bloody diarrhoea.

Affected cases have been identified through advanced molecular typing techniques. As this method of testing is not routinely performed in all countries, some cases may be undetected.

Based on epidemiological and microbiological investigations, specific chocolate products from a Belgian chocolate factory were identified as likely vehicles of infection.

The factory was closed on 8 April 2022 (week 14) and product recalls were launched globally. The recalls aimed to prevent the consumption of products potentially contaminated with Salmonella. As a result of control measures, number of cases have declined rapidly.

Further investigations are needed to identify the root cause of the contamination, and to ensure that contaminated products are not put on the market. 

Table 1. Number of confirmed and probable cases of monophasic S. Typhimurium in the EU/EEA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and the United States, as of 15 July 2022

Country

Confirmed cases

Probable cases

Total number of cases

Austria

14

0

14

Belgium

64

2

66

Czech Republic

1

0

1

Denmark

4

0

4

France

121

0

121

Germany

34

0

34

Ireland

18

0

18

Italy

1

0

1

Luxembourg

2

0

2

Netherlands

3

0

3

Norway

1

0

1

Spain

3

0

3

Sweden

5

0

5

Total EU/EEA

271

2

273

United Kingdom

128

0

128

Total EU/EEA and UK

399

2

401

Canada

4

0

4

Switzerland

49

0

49

United States

1

0

1

Total

453

2

455

 

Figure 1. Distribution of confirmed and probable monophasic S. Typhimurium cases by week-year in 13 EU/EEA countries and the UK, as of 15 July 2022

Figure 1. Distribution of confirmed and probable monophasic S. Typhimurium cases by week-year in 13 EU/EEA countries and the UK, as of 15 July 2022
Figure 1. Distribution of confirmed and probable monophasic S. Typhimurium cases by week-year in 13 EU/EEA countries and the UK, as of 15 July 2022

Figure 2. Number of confirmed and probable cases with monophasic S. Typhimurium infection by country, EU/EEA and the UK

Figure 2. Number of confirmed and probable cases with monophasic S. Typhimurium infection by country, EU/EEA and the UK
Figure 2. Number of confirmed and probable cases with monophasic S. Typhimurium infection by country, EU/EEA and the UK