SLOVENIA – The Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) and the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has finally linked a 2022 Salmonella outbreak that sickened 130 people to a steak tartare from Fingušt Mesnine Štajerske company.
Steak tartare includes raw ground (minced) beef.
According to a recent report, inspectors from UVHVVR visited the suspected company Fingut Mesnine tajerske in November 2022 for the first of multiple inspections and obtained samples of raw materials and finished products.
Additionally, they looked at general hygiene practices and HACCP implementation.
In order to stop any further infections, the producer pulled and recalled two lots of steak tartare based on Salmonella positives from samples taken by the manufacturer after being advised of a concern from a retailer.
Mesnine Tajerske was forbidden from selling foods that could potentially infect customers with Salmonella.
When safety was proven and it was established that no employees were infected, restrictions were eased.
As a result of the production plant’s high-risk classification, the UVHVVR revealed that there will be more frequent inspections and official sampling.
The officials deemed the quantity of self-check samples collected by the company to be out of compliance, and additional verification of the steak tartare expiration dates was required.
Positive results were no longer present following general cleaning, even though the initial source of the Salmonella contamination had not been discovered.
It had previously been revealed that eight of the 19 affected individuals, who ranged in age from 5 to 71, were hospitalized.
138 Salmonella cases, comprising 70 women and 68 males, were recorded between November 12 and November 26, 2022. The patients were 33 years old on average.
Epidemiological data revealed that several of the sick individuals claimed to have had the contaminated steak tartare prior to becoming unwell.
Of those who were unwell, 44 had suspected cases and 94 had test confirmation. 33 patients were hospitalized, however, there were no reported fatalities.
The northeastern Slovenian cities of Maribor, Celje, and Murska Sobota were home to the majority of the sick. Only the Nova Gorica region lacked patient records.
Salmonella enteritidis was used to isolate more than 90 stool samples. The majority of these samples were identical and were thought to be part of the same cluster. A food sample also came up positive.
Whole genome sequencing revealed a close genetic relationship between four isolates from samples of steak tartare and human isolates, indicating that this was the most likely source of the illness.
Although no other nations reported infections associated with the outbreak, Slovenian officials did notify the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) about it.