Contaminated milk: 10 points to know everything about salmonella outbreaks

Salmonella is a very old bacterium that has exceptional adaptability. But man has the solutions to get rid of it ... if he really wants it and is not negligent!

Between August and December 2017, several infants were identified as suffering from salmonella Salmonella Agona serotype by the National Salmonella Reference Center. This contamination occurs following the consumption of Pepti Junior brand milks from Picot, Picot SL, Picot anti-colic, Picot riz and Milumel Bio 1 without palm oil.

An epidemiological and bacteriological survey

The epidemiological investigation is conducted by Public Health France in conjunction with the CNR, the Directorate General of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) and the Directorate General of Health (DGS). It has identified to date 37 infants (16 boys and 21 girls, median age 4 months (min: 2.5 weeks, max: 9 months)) with salmonellosis at Salmonella Agona serotype, occurring between mid-August and 2 December 2017. All these strains belong to the same epidemic clone. One of the cases was retrospectively identified by the CNR and developed symptoms by the end of April 2017.
The cases identified during this investigation correspond to infants who had diarrhea following the consumption of these milks, having been the subject of medical consultation and stool culture (stool analysis), for which the laboratories isolated a strain of Salmonella transmitted to the CNR. It is possible that some cases have not been identified. Nevertheless, these unregistered cases are generally less severe and their number is likely to be limited due to more routine use of care in infants and for severe infections.

Acute gastroenteritis

Infections Salmonella usually occur within 3 days of ingestion, and cause a picture of acute gastroenteritis with vomiting, diarrhea sometimes bloody, and febrile in most cases. The appearance of these signs in an infant should lead families to seek medical attention without delay.
Several outbreaks of salmonellosis Salmonella Agona have been reported in the past, especially an epidemic attributed to the consumption of powdered milk in infants in France in 2005, an epidemic in infants in Germany attributed to the consumption of herbal teas made from fennel and anise, and epidemics attributed to the consumption of peanut snacks or oat cereals, according to Santé Publique France.

Salmonella and the risk of infection

Salmonella is a microbe.

It's a bacterium, which has the difference of viruses and makes it susceptible to antibiotics

They are the most numerous bacteria in the world. There are 2,600 different species, including 883 strains of human origin.

Infectivity of these salmonella depends on:

  • Virulence of the strain. The one detected in infant milk is moderately virulent, but one must always be wary of the "intelligence" of the infinitely small. An edifying example: a so-called "hyper virulent" salmonella was detected in California 6 years ago, resistant (especially to vaccines), to the unusually fast spread. It became clear that when she returned to an organism, she became mean, but as soon as she found herself in the wild, she changed her profile to become wise and undetectable. A surprising adaptability ... and disturbing.
  • Sensitivity of people who are affected (eg infants or elderly people)
  • The concentration that we ingest in general must be greater than 100 000 bacteria.

Salmonella are robust :

They survive several weeks in the air but several months in the water. This explains the contamination of water from the excrement of infected animals.
One of the modes of contamination is the eggs and their contamination by the bacteria can intervene during the crack or the porosity of the hull which intervenes during the washing and let the bacteria enter and develop.

The diseases they cause:

Typhoid and parathyroid fevers. Contagious diseases once formidable.
Food poisoning, also known as salmonellosis, which is currently of concern to our health authorities.

Inflammatory bowel disease

More and more studies have shown that mild but repetitive food poisoning is capable of causing inflammation of the intestinal lining, the intestinal mucosa, which will lead to a progressively irreversible and self-destructive immune response. This is called inflammatory bowel and bowel disease or IBD and is a potentially serious autoimmune disease.


It is done by contaminated food, meat eggs and mainly dairy products. In general in a human, the acidity of the stomach is enough to easily destroy the enemy. An exception: infants who are more sensitive and above all can be contaminated by the breathing of contaminated dust ... and patients with antacids who are more vulnerable to contamination.
In general, we only talk about these infections in the summer, in children with cases rather scattered but they represent 25% of gastros of the summer.
Remember that the first ramparts against Salmonella are called veterinary checks, essential hygiene in the preparation of collective meals and especially the inspection of certain foodstuffs. Which is the main controversy of recent days.


The vaccine against typhoid is no longer marketed in France.


Fortunately, most sources are sensitive to antibiotics. The researchers, however, alerted the health authorities by reporting the appearance of ultra-resistant strains, which is not the case in current infections.
Antibiotic treatment is conceivable only in certain specific cases (infants, elderly people or chronic diseases or in the community) because the massive use has the opposite effect and a multiplication of bacteria. "It's not automatic"!

Video: Preventing Foodborne Illness: Talking to Patients About Food Safety (March 2020).