The Department of Agriculture has launched an investigation after eight poultry flocks tested positive for salmonella.

The Department has said it is working closely with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella in order to determine the cause of an outbreak of salmonella typhimurium and to mitigate risks.

This investigation is ongoing, a spokesperson for the Department said.

“Eight poultry flocks have been confirmed as positive for salmonella typhimurium. All of these flocks have been restricted and are under [Department of Agriculture] controls.

“The flocks are located in a number of different locations,” they said.

Control programme

A national salmonella control programme in poultry operates on an ongoing basis, including regular sampling by the Department and farmers at multiple points during the life stages of poultry flocks.

“This programme has been operating successfully over many years, with a very low prevalence of any salmonella species in Irish broiler flocks,” the spokesperson said.


The FSAI said that the Department of Agriculture notified it about thge investigation and that it is liaising with the Department in its investigation.

"To date, there are no human cases of illness linked to this investigation into the broiler flocks.

"This on-farm incident has arisen following the food recall of Western Brand undertaken last week.

"The FSAI has been notified by the Department of Agriculture that affected flocks will be culled and will not enter the food chain," a spokesperson for the FSAI told the Irish Farmers Journal.

To date, there are no human cases of illness linked to this investigation into the broiler flocks


The IFA poultry chair Nigel Sweetnam said the cases of salmonella in a small number of farms is devastating for the flock owners concerned.

He said the affected flocks are restricted and there is no threat to human health.

The authorities, including the Department and the FSAI, are working to deal with the situation as quickly and effectively as possible, he said.

“In the meantime, I would ask everybody to review their biosecurity measures and to be extra vigilant.”


Last week, the FSAI issued a recall of some batches of Western Brand raw chicken products due to the presence of salmonella typhimurium.

“These products were sold as fresh and are past their use-by date. However, the labels state they are suitable for home freezing. Recall notices will be displayed at point of sale.

“Consumers are advised not to eat the affected batches, should they have them in their freezers,” the FSAI said.

People infected with salmonella typically develop symptoms between 12 and 36 hours after infection, but this can range between six and 72 hours, according to the FSAI.

“The most common symptom is diarrhoea, which can sometimes be bloody. Other symptoms may include fever, headache and abdominal cramps.

“The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Diarrhoea can occasionally be severe enough to require hospital admission. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness,” it advised.