Public Health England (PHE) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are collectively informing the public about possible measures which should be undertaken to avoid infection with Salmonella typhimurium (S typhimurium). PHE and FSA along with Health Protection Scotland and Food Standards Scotland have advised people to handle raw meat with caution and cook it properly.
The warning comes in the light of a rise in cases of a particular strain of S typhimurium associated with lamb and mutton. Nearly 165 cases have been reported between June 2018 and 19 October 2018. The first spike in cases of this strain was observed between July 2017 and November 2017 with 95 cases reported in England, Scotland and Wales; however, there was a substantial decline by the end of the year owing to the implementation of several control measures.
Primary symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. One fatality was reported during last year's outbreak, but no deaths have been reported so far with the current outbreak. According to Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, PHE, the infection could typically spread through improperly cooked meat, not washing hands scrupulously after handling raw meat or through cross-contamination with other food, surfaces, and utensils in the kitchen.