At least 30 people have fallen ill after eating at a restaurant in Finland during the end of January.
An investigation by public health officials in the town of Kokkola, also known as Karleby, found Salmonella was behind the illnesses.
The first infection was recorded on Jan. 27 and no patients have been reported since Jan. 29. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.
Sigrid’s restaurant carried out cleaning and extensive disinfection after the suspicion of an outbreak was raised. Operations at the eatery are continuing as normal.
Frozen product suspected
Initially, no Salmonella was found in food and surface samples. Additional samples were taken in the restaurant, from staff and of the food.
Preliminary results show the suspected source of infection is a frozen product for use in commercial kitchens. Findings will be confirmed later in February after further investigations are completed. Sales of the implicated product have been suspended in the country, according to officials.
Two other different Salmonella outbreaks were reported in Finland in December.
The first outbreak in the city of Rovaniemi affected 20 people but a source was not found. The second incident in the city of Mikkeli led to eight illnesses and was caused by contaminated chopped zucchini from Spain that was used in salad.
Typing was done at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the incidents were also reported to the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto). In 2019, 200 salmonellosis cases were reported to THL in which the infection was acquired in Finland.
About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
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