Scientists from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) National Reference Centre for Salmonella have suggested that existing food safety regulations in the EU need to be re-evaluated in response to recent outbreaks of Salmonella Stanley infection associated with turkey meat.
In a letter to the Editor of the journal Eurosurveillance, the three experts point out that two recent outbreaks in Germany and Austria associated with contaminated kebabs indicate that a new clone of S. Stanley could become endemic in the European poultry production chain. They add that Austria is already seeing rising rates of S. Stanley infection – up from nine cases in 2010 to 101 in 2013 – with the added dimension of antibiotic resistance.
Three strains isolated during the recent outbreak were resistant against third generation cephalosporins and gentamicin and harboured an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase enzyme that limited the effectiveness of standard antibiotic treatments. The authors request urgent action to eradicate this new clone of S. Stanley from the poultry production chain.
The letter goes on to suggest that current food safety regulations should be reviewed and harmonised, so that the criteria for fresh poultry meat and minced meat or meat preparations are the same and do not focus only on controlling S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium in fresh poultry meat. The authors also suggest that Salmonella Stanley should be included in the community targets for reducing the prevalence of zoonoses in the food supply.
Read the letter in full here.