The Food Safety Agency calls for caution on the Salmonella outbreak that Norway links to Spanish cucumbers

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (Aesan), attached to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, has called for caution to avoid generating alarm because of an outbreak of Salmonella registered in Norway, which the Nordic country associates with the consumption of Spanish cucumbers.

Aesan's sources issued this statement to Servimedia after the newspaper El País wrote about this issue based on information issued by the Norwegian authorities. The same sources pointed out that authorities had not confirmed that the outbreak had originated from food of Spanish origin.

They also stated that the information reported by Norway through the EU Rapid Alert System (RASFF) was inconclusive and had not been totally verified, which means the outbreak could have been caused by other food.

Aesan has already contacted the Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center and the regional authorities to analyze traceability in case the food is of Spanish origin.

An outbreak in Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that a total of 72 people in the country, 24 of whom required hospitalization, were diagnosed with the gastrointestinal bacterium Salmonella agona between late October and early December.

After analyzing more than 50 patient interviews and their purchasing information, the authorities discovered that nearly 90 percent of the people infected had eaten cucumber the week before they got sick. This study helped rule out other possible sources of infection for this outbreak. "After extensive tracing work by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, certain batches of cucumber from a Spanish supplier were identified as the most likely source of infection."

In addition to the outbreak in Norway, cases with the same strain have also been reported in Sweden and the Netherlands in the same period. No new cases of the disease have been reported in recent weeks, which could indicate that the contaminated product is no longer on the market and that the outbreak has probably ended, the statement says. "However, we'll have to wait to see if there are any new cases in the future."

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