Introduction. On 23 October 2015, six related cases with gastroenteritis called the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. They suspected filet américain, a raw beef spread, to be the source of infection. Leftovers and stool samples tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium. Multiple locus variable-number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) revealed a MLVA pattern (02-23-08-08-212), which had not been detected in the Netherlands before. Concomitantly, an increase of this MLVA type was observed in the national Salmonella surveillance, amounting to 46 cases between 26 October and 9 December.
Methods. To investigate whether filet américain or an alternative (related) source could be linked to surveillance-reported cases, cases (n=38) were invited to complete a questionnaire and upstream source tracing to map the food supply chain was initiated.
Results. Rapid interdisciplinary action resulted in identification of a contaminated 46-ton batch of beef distributed via a Dutch deboning plant as the likely source of infection. In total, 24/29 respondents (83%) could be linked to the incriminated batch of beef products (predominantly filet américain and minced beef).
Discussion. Repeated identification of raw meat products as a source of infection emphasizes the importance of awareness of the risk of infection when handling or consuming these products. Improved measures and procedures on product labelling, pre-treatment or product testing should be considered.