Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Dutch Salmon
October 3, 2012

Salmon Recalled Due To Salmonella Concerns

Connie K. Ho for — Your Universe Online

Pickled herring on a platter. Open faced herring sandwiches. Seafood is a delicacy cherished by the Dutch, as the ocean borders the country. However, the Dutch are cautious on eating seafood these days as there was a recent a recall of salmon. In particular, health authorities in the Netherlands recently discovered that hundreds of people became sick after eating smoked salmon that had contained a strain of bacteria related to salmonella and began recalls of the seafood.

As a result of the salmonella outbreak in the Netherlands, health authorities in the U.S. have decided to recall salmon and have begun an investigation on the possible connection between the salmon from the Netherlands and a recent outbreak of salmonella in a number of states.

"We've investigating a possible link between the cases in the U.S. and cases in the Netherlands,"commented Lola Russell, a representative from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), according to the Associated Press.

Representatives from the Netherlands´ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment reported that the salmon had been sold by Foppen, a Dutch company that sells fish to a number of supermarkets throughout the Netherlands and the world. The Dutch agency estimations that approximately 200 people or more became sick due to Salmonella Thompson, a strain of bacteria. The CDC reported that there were 85 cases in 27 states of the U.S. that were also related to that strain of bacteria. While 10 individuals have been hospitalized, no deaths have been reported. The strain first appeared in the beginning of June and the U.S. agency plans to interview patients to determine what they had consumed before getting sick, including the tainted salmon from the Netherlands.

Following the notification from Foppen, a number of stores removed the salmon from their store shelves. The Associated Press stated that stores like Costco have also blocked the sale of salmon. In particular, Costco plans to call up customers who bought the salmon and also send out letters notifying customers. A Costco representative noted that the company hasn´t received any report regarding illness, but they will still be conducting an independent testing of the salmon to see if the fish tests positive for salmonella.

Foppen also has started an investigation of its own to better understand the reason for the outbreak. They created a public information phone line and approximately 1,4000 people have called within the last two days to report symptoms that were related to salmonella infection. According to the CDC, symptoms of salmonella include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever.

"The investigation into the cause is under way and has been narrowed down to one production line at one factory (in Greece)," Bart de Vries, company spokesman of Foppen, commented in the Associated Press article. "We can't yet say what the cause of the infection was."

BBC News notes that salmonella can resolve itself in four to seven days. Some treatment for patients may target severe dehydration. On the company website, Foppen offered its “sincere apologies for any inconvenience” to customers.