The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis outbreak in Kajaani is suspected to have been caused by grated carrot


<div>Since mid-April 2008 in the Kainuu area over 30 people have been found to have fallen ill with a stomach disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Those who have fallen ill are mainly inhabitants of Kajaani. For most of them the symptoms began at the end of June and beginning of July. Also in the Oulu area more cases than normally caused by the bacterium Y. pseudotuberculosis were noted in July. The analyses on whether the Oulu cases are related to the outbreak in Kajaani are not yet finished.</div>

It is suspected that the Yersinia outbreak originated from grated carrot, which had been delivered to several catering kitchens in Kajaani. The grated carrot was made from last year’s carrots. In the laboratory study the bacterium was found in grated carrot and also in carrots delivered by a grower, in samples from the warehouse taken for cleanliness and in soil samples. The typification study of the bacterial strains and the comparison with the patient samples are not finished. The carrots suspected to have caused the outbreak are no longer in the grower’ warehouse. The kitchens have been notified of the findings and it has been ensured that the carrot batch in question or grated carrot made from it is no longer being offered.

The bacterium Y. pseudotuberculosis has caused several food borne outbreaks transmitted by Finnish carrots since 2003. It has been possible to isolate high concentrations of the bacterium, especially in carrots stored over winter. New carrots do not cause a risk of falling ill from yersiniosis.

Evira has issued guidelines (in Finnish) to catering kitchens and for those who handle vegetables on the measures that have to be taken in order to reduce the risk for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis:

Link KTL/Comments by a Doctor of Infectious Diseases  (In Finnish)

For more information please contact:
Senior Officer Taina Niskanen, tel. 020 77 24318

Related Categories: