Large Salmonella outbreak dominates Finnish figures

A Salmonella outbreak affected more than 700 people in Finland in 2021, according to new information from the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto).

The implicated food was a salad with iceberg lettuce, cucumber and peas served in several kindergartens. It was previously known that almost 450 people, mostly children, had been ill.

Officials in the city of Jyväskylä investigated the incident with the help of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Overall, 46 foodborne outbreaks were recorded in Finland this past year affecting almost 1,400 people. In 2020, 34 outbreaks were reported involving 543 people.

Seven Salmonella outbreaks sickened 824 people compared to three outbreaks with 21 sick in 2020.

The most common pathogen was norovirus with nine outbreaks and 260 cases. One of the main factors that contributed to foodborne norovirus incidents was an infected kitchen worker.

Two E. coli outbreaks sickened 80 people compared to one outbreak that affected 10 people in 2020.

Sixty people were ill in six Campylobacter outbreaks versus 43 in three foodborne outbreaks in 2020.

Two Listeria outbreaks were linked to six illnesses compared to 37 sick in two outbreaks in 2020.

Two Yersinia outbreaks sickened nine people, one Clostridium Perfringens outbreak had 12 cases and histamine poisoning affected nine people.

The latest full report on infections linked to food in Finland shows about 2,900 people fell ill in 162 foodborne outbreaks with 110 hospitalizations and nine deaths from 2017 to 2019. Norovirus was the main cause of outbreaks though the causative agent was unknown in many cases.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)