Meat plant linked to Salmonella outbreak

An Irish meat plant is under investigation following a deadly outbreak of salmonella in the UK and Ireland.

Around 80 cases of Salmonella Agona have been confirmed in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland so far, predominantly in young adults. The disease is reported to have been a contributing factor in the death of an elderly woman last month.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed that whilst the investigation continues to seek to establish the exact source of the outbreak, laboratory testing of foods has revealed a possible link with meat products from the Dawn Farm Foods plant at Mauldins, County Kildare.

It has been suggested that potentially contaminated beef product processed at the plant was supplied to the Subway chain of food outlets.

Batches of the Philly Style Steak and Chicken Fajita sanwiches have been removed from Subway restaurants nationwide and a spokesperson for Dawn Farm Foods confirmed that selected lines of cooked beef, cooked chicken and cooked bacon products have been withdrawn as a precautionary measure.

Alan Reilly, of the FSAI said: "This is a highly complicated outbreak investigation focusing on products from one thermal processing line with a complex food distribution chain. Dawn Farm Foods is fully cooperating with the investigation.

"The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has served a compliance notice to detain all products at the plant produced on the production line under investigation. To ensure swift product withdrawal, food businesses are urged to check the list of the implicated products on the FSAI website and this list will be updated as new information becomes available."

Reilly added that Salmonella Agona is not life threatening for most people, but serious complications can occur for older people older people, young children, pregnant women and people who are already sick with weakened immune systems

A full list of the withdrawn products is now available on the FSAI website at www.fsai.ie. The Agency has urged food outlets providing made-to-order sandwiches to comply swiftly and completely with the withdrawal.

The FSAI has stressed that all food outlets providing made-to-order sandwiches should be particularly strict in adhering to best hygiene practices and ensure that hot sandwhiches are thoroughly cooked before serving