- 250+ cases of Salmonella traced to travel to Turkey’s Antalya region, primarily affecting hotel guests on all-inclusive packages.
- Authorities investigating source; travelers cautioned, especially with the summer holidays starting.
- UKHSA recommends thorough handwashing, proper cooking, peeled fruit consumption, and pasteurized dairy for food safety.
- Pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are urged to take extra precautions.
Since the start of 2023, nearly 250 Salmonella infections in the UK have been linked to travel to Turkey, particularly to the Antalya region. Most infected individuals stayed at hotels and consumed various foods as part of an all-inclusive holiday package.
The exact source of the infection has not yet been identified, leading to ongoing investigations by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Turkish health authorities, and other international public health agencies.
Warning Issued Ahead of School Summer Holidays
According to a Food Safety News report, given the unidentified source of the Salmonella outbreak and the onset of the school summer holidays, UKHSA has issued a warning for travelers. Many people, including children, have fallen ill while vacationing in Turkey.
Jatinder Paul, an international serious injury lawyer, expressed concern over the seriousness of the illness, especially for children and the elderly, who are more vulnerable to such infections.
Travel Advice from the UKHSA
The report noted that the UKHSA recommends that travelers take precautions to avoid foodborne illnesses regardless of destination.
These include thorough handwashing, especially after using the toilet before preparing or eating food, ensuring food is cooked or reheated thoroughly, and keeping perishable foods cool. Travelers are also advised only to eat the fruit they have peeled themselves, if possible, and to consume only pasteurized dairy products.
Risk to Vulnerable Groups
The report noted that the risk of severe gastrointestinal illness is higher in certain groups, including pregnant women, adults aged 65 and over, children aged 5 or under, individuals with underlying health conditions, and those with weakened immune systems. Hence, these groups should take extra caution while traveling and consuming food and drinks.
What We Think
The recent Salmonella outbreak highlights the critical need for travelers to be vigilant about food safety, particularly in regions where outbreaks have occurred.
The advice from health authorities underscores the importance of preventive measures to reduce the risk of infections. Travelers, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups, must adhere to these guidelines rigorously to safeguard their health during vacations.
This situation emphasizes the significance of personal hygiene and careful food consumption, especially in unfamiliar environments, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Learn more in the entire Food Safety News report.