Consumer attitudes and behaviours - Key risk factors in an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 12 infection sourced to chicken nuggets

Bernadette Kenny, Robert Hall, Scott Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To identify the source and intervention methods for an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 12 in South Australia. Method: Ten cases of S. Typhimurium phage type (PT) 12 infection were notified in South Australia in a four-week period from 7 May 1998. Nine cases and 27 controls were included in a case control study to test the hypothesis that illness was associated with the consumption of chicken nuggets. Results: A significant association between illness and the consumption of one brand of chicken nuggets was determined, odds ratio undefined (95% CI undefined; p = undefined). Nine of nine cases and one of 27 controls reported eating these chicken nuggets. S. Typhimurium PT 12 was isolated from an opened sample of this particular brand of nuggets which had been retrieved from the home of one case. Conclusions and implications: The implicated nuggets were essentially a raw product which had been 'flash fried' in contrast with other brands which were fully cooked. The investigation highlighted issues of inadequate labelling and consumer responses to labelling information which affect food safety. A media release to highlight to the consumer the need to cook frozen food properly and a voluntary recall of the 'flash fried' product was instigated as a result of these conclusions. Further action is needed to eliminate the potential hazard that consumers will perceive and handle 'flash fried' nuggets as if they are a cooked chicken product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-167
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

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