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Epidemiologic investigation Salmonellosis outbreaks linked to eggs at 2 gimbap restaurants in the Republic of Korea
Jun Suk Eun1orcid , Joohyun Han2orcid , Ji-Hyun Lim3orcid , Eunkyung Shin2orcid , Junyoung Kim2orcid , Da-Jung Ko3orcid , Jaeil Yoo2orcid , Sungil Kim4orcid , Jin Sook Kim4orcid , JungSub Park4orcid , Ji-Hyuk Park5orcid
Epidemiol Health 2024;e2024036
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024036 [Accepted]
Published online: March 7, 2024
1Deogyang-gu Public Health Center, Goyang, Korea
2Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju-si, Korea
3Gyeonggi Province Institute of Health and Environment in North Branch, Uijeongbu, Korea
4Food and Consumer Safety Bureau, KFDA, Cheongju-si, Korea
5Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea, Gyeongju, Korea
Corresponding author:  Ji-Hyuk Park,
Email: skeyd@naver.com
Received: 10 October 2023   • Revised: 3 January 2024   • Accepted: 10 January 2024
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Salmonellosis outbreaks occurred at 2 restaurants 2 days apart, and an epidemiological investigation was conducted to determine whether the outbreaks were connected.
Case studies were conducted for both outbreaks. Stool samples were collected from individuals, and food samples were collected from the restaurants. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole-genome sequencing analyses were performed on outbreak-related Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis) isolates. Traceback investigations were also conducted for the ingredients from gimbap restaurants A and B.
In total, 106 people from gimbap restaurant A and 5 from gimbap restaurant B met the case definition. Salmonella Enteritidis was detected in samples from 2 food handlers, 22 patients, and 1 food (iceberg lettuce) at gimbap restaurant A and from 1 patient at gimbap restaurant B. According to PFGE, all isolates were identified as SEGX01.089. The molecular typing of all isolates showed the same pattern, and the genetic distance was close according to phylogenetic analysis. Eggs were the only food ingredient that was supplied to both gimbap restaurants.
The outbreaks were caused by Salmonella Enteritidis, and the source of infections was suspected to be contaminated eggs. To prevent foodborne outbreaks of Salmonella, restaurants should heat eggs sufficiently, and egg farms need to establish management systems that prevent Salmonella infections.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health