Nearly 50 patients in France after eating raw or rare horse meat


French authorities are investigating nearly 50 Salmonella infections linked to the consumption of raw or undercooked horse meat in recent months.During this summer, Public Health France identified 20 patients who were part of a cluster of Salmonella Newport cases.

A total of 28 other people have been linked to a second cluster of salmonellosis caused by a different serotype known as monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium (1, 4, [5], 12: i :-).

Link established by interviews with patients
In France, there is a tradition of consumption of raw or rare horse meat, especially in the form of minced meat (minced), according to the Directorate General for Food (DGAL) and the Directorate General for Health (DGS).

However, the consumption of horse meat has declined considerably in France in recent decades.

Patient surveys have enabled health authorities to identify the role in the disease of horse meat, consumed raw or undercooked, particularly in the form of minced meat.

The points of sale mentioned by the patients interviewed were informed of the problem and reminded of good hygiene practices for the preparation of minced meat.

The authorities of some identified horse meat producing countries have also been informed in order to be able to carry out checks. Horse meat is mainly imported from Italy, Romania, Poland, the United States or South America, but there is some domestic production.

Previous outbreaks
Health officials have said it is important, especially in hot weather, to respect the cold chain, especially by consumers after purchase, and to consume the meat quickly, ideally on the day of purchase.

Places where meat is minced after consumer demand, such as butchers, have been invited to remain vigilant on the sanitary quality of supplies as well as of the meat sold by carrying out regular bacteriological checks.

An outbreak of Salmonella bovismorbificans linked to horse meat from Romania via Belgium sickened 25 people in France in 2019 and nine people need hospital treatment.

It was the latest in a series of illnesses linked to the consumption of horse meat in recent years. Other outbreaks in 2003, 2006 and 2010 involved Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Meleagridis and Salmonella Typhimurium.

In 2018, an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis in France was suspected to be caused by chilled horse meat from Belgium, processed in Romania, with raw materials from Hungary.

About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria usually does not look, smell or taste altered. Anyone can get sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of serious illnesses because their immune systems are weak, according to the CDC.

Anyone who has eaten horse meat and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should see a doctor. Sick people should tell their doctor about possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria as special tests are needed to diagnose salmonellosis. Symptoms of Salmonella infection can mimic other illnesses, often leading to incorrect diagnoses.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, the diarrhea can be so severe that patients must be hospitalized.

The elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop serious illness and serious conditions, which can sometimes be fatal. Some people get infected without getting sick or showing symptoms. However, they can still spread infections to others.

(To subscribe to Food Safety News for free, click here.)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here