Egg-induced illnesses increasing

SALMONELLA poisoning from eggs is increasing in Australia, experts say, after analysing almost a decade of data on food-borne disease.

Researchers from the government food surveillance network, OzFoodNet, found 38 people had died and more than 1500 had been hospitalised in food-related disease outbreaks that occurred between 2001 and 2009.

Salmonella caused 40% of the outbreak illnesses affecting more than 16,000 people, and 21 of the deaths, the Communicable Disease Control Conference was told in Canberra last week.

“We saw an increase in outbreaks associated with eggs, which is a major concern,” said Martyn Kirk, senior lecturer at the College of Medicine, Biology & Environment at the Australian National University.

Tests showed many of the outbreaks occurred due to bacteria on the surface of the shell, rather than inside the egg.

“In huge outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere it has been a problem of