A multi-country Salmonella outbreak in Europe has been linked to one common food source: infant formula.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have confirmed that multiple Salmonella Poona illnesses in France (30), Belgium (1), and Luxembourg (1) are all genetically linked. The young children affected experienced symptoms as early as August 2018 and as recently as February 2019.
The products implicated are three rice-based infant formula products made by a company in Spain between August and October 2018. The products are marketed by a French company. The products were sold to multiple countries—including some outside of Europe—via online retailers and traditional wholesalers.
Health officials say that all tests performed at the Spanish factory—including product sample tests on batches believed to be linked to the outbreak—all tested negative for Salmonella Poona. According to EFSA, “this may be due to the fact that Salmonella is typically difficult to detect in dried products and requires sampling and testing methods with a high degree of sensitivity."
Having announced product recalls and issued public health warnings, EFSA and ECDC hope that this will decrease the number of new infections.