The Food Standards Agency Scotland is leading an urgent investigation into a new outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis, which has so far affected 85 people. Two strains have been identified: phage type 5c and phage type 6a.

The highest concentration of cases are concentrated in Lanarkshire. However, cases have also been identified in the following health board areas: Greater Glasgow, Arran and Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland, Fife, Lothian, Borders, and Forth Valley. The Food Standards Agency Scotland has therefore declared a national outbreak and convened an Outbreak Control Team.

The Team's over-riding aim is to protect public health and action has already been taken at three Chinese restaurants and takeaways in the Lanarkshire Health Board area which are linked to the outbreak. All three of the establishments are co-operating fully with the investigation.

Eight people have been hospitalised as a result of the outbreak, although none are in a serious condition.

The Agency is co-ordinating the investigation, with local authorities and health boards carrying out the necessary action at a local level. As well as the action taken by the local authority in the three restaurants and takeaways in Lanarkshire, the investigation involves looking at food suppliers and finding out what and where those affected ate prior to becoming ill. In addition, all those infected have been provided with advice on the prevention of person-to-person spread.

The Outbreak Control Team will meet again next Wednesday. Further information will be issued as it becomes available.

  1. An outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 5c was identified in August and affected 37 people. Appropriate action was taken to bring that outbreak under control and protect public health.

  2. The outbreak confirmed today is a separate outbreak. The cluster of cases were initially concentrated in Lanarkshire and were being managed locally. When the Food Standards Agency Scotland became aware that the rise in cases of 5c was more widespread and possible links to 6a were identified it immediately convened an Outbreak Control Team and declared a national outbreak.

  3. The investigation into the 5c outbreak has also uncovered a high number of cases of 6a. The total number of cases for both is now 85 (46 cases of 5c and 39 cases of 6a). The breakdown by health board area is as follows:
    Lanarkshire 36 (18 5c and 18 6a)

    Greater Glasgow 12 (7 5c and 5 6a)

    Lothian 9 (4 5c and 5 6a)

    Arran and Ayrshire 2 (0 5c and 2 6a)

    Fife 2 (2 5c and 0 6a)

    Forth Valley 2 (2 5c and 0 6a)

    Dumfries and Galloway 1 (1 5c and 0 6a)

    Highland 1 (1 5c and 0 6a)

    Borders 1 (0 5c and 1 6a)

    Area to be confirmed 19 (11 5c and 8 6a)

  4. The Outbreak Control Team is led by the Food Standards Agency Scotland and also comprises representatives from the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH) and those local authorities and health boards affected. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 29 November.

  5. Salmonella enteritidis phage types 5c and 6a usually occur in small numbers. It causes nausea, vomiting and often fever within 18 to 36 hours of exposure. Diarrhoea becomes the main feature within 24 hours. Although most patients recover in a few days, in serious cases the illness persists for several weeks.

For further information, media should contact John Booth on 01224 285120 or Louise Bisset on 01224 285127.