Two deaths in France linked to Salmonella in horse meat.
FRENCH public health authorities have confirmed that two people have died after eating raw or undercooked horse meat.
A week ago, Sante publique France confirmed it was investigating more than 50 Salmonella infections linked to horse meat consumption over the summer months.
The National Reference Center for Salmonella at the Institut Pasteur detected the first epidemic with 20 patients aged 19 to 94, sick because of Salmonella Newport in August.
The sick people lived in seven different regions with the Hauts de France area having the most cases with eight.
Nine patients were hospitalised and two deaths reported.
A second outbreak was detected in September, with 23 patients aged between two and 84, from four different regions.
Again, the Hauts de France area had the most cases with 25.
According to the French public health authorities, before the onset of symptoms, almost all of those who fell ill had eaten raw, undercooked or rare horse meat, some in the form of minced (ground) meat that was bought from markets or in horse butcher shops, reports Food Safety News.
The Directorate General for Food (DGAL) carried out traceability surveys of horse meat consumed by patients.
While they found it was imported they could not determine the exact origin with certainty.
The venues visited by the patients were interviewed and reminded of good hygienic practices for preparing ground meat.
Horse meat is mainly imported from Italy, Romania, Poland, the United States or South America.
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