Food Safety: (*_ Many older residents have been affected by Campylobacter in a Swedish municipal.
People who ate from the Allegarden kitchen in Sunne were afflicted with gastro-intestinal problems between Aug. 18, and 27. Allegarden offers more than 60 apartments to people older than 65..
Samples were taken from seven individuals with Campylobacter infections. A few were positive, officials said.
Campylobacter can be reported and officials were contacted by the Swedish Food Agency and Varmland to investigate the incident.
Authorities conducted food inspections in Allegarden’s kitchen on two occasions, including sampling during the first visit. The presence of Campylobacter was not confirmed by the tests. It was impossible to obtain additional samples because there was no food left at the time of the illnesses.
Officials could not determine if the spread of the infection was due to food that had been contaminated prior to arriving at the kitchen, poor handling or a lack hygiene.
Officials say that Allegarden’s operators will be reviewing and improving their procedures to prevent another outbreak.
Link to a wider issue
This outbreak could be a result of broader problems in the country. Folkhalsomyndigheten, the Swedish Public Health Agency, reported an increase in Campylobacter-related illnesses in late August.
Since July ended, the number infected people was hovering between 160 to 200 each week. This increase was observed across the country, in all age groups.
According to data from National Veterinary Institute (SVA), the spike in human cases was caused by an increase in Campylobacter levels in broiler flocks.
The rise in human cases is likely to be related to an increase in Campylobacter levels in chickens used for meat production.
Folkhalsomyndigheten is collecting samples from patients for analysis and typing as part of the microbiological monitoring program to identify any common sources of infection.
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