Outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis infections in the United States, 1985-1991

J Infect Dis. 1994 Mar;169(3):547-52. doi: 10.1093/infdis/169.3.547.


The spread of Salmonella enteritidis infections in the United States was tracked to identify potential risk factors and preventive measures. Isolation rates and information regarding outbreaks of S. enteritidis from 1985 through 1991 were determined by reports to the national Salmonella surveillance system and through the foodborne disease outbreak surveillance system. From 1985 through 1991, 380 outbreaks were reported involving 13,056 ill persons and 50 deaths. The proportion of Northeast outbreaks fell from 81% in 1985 to 55% in 1991 as the number of outbreaks in other areas increased. Grade A shell eggs were implicated in 82% of outbreaks. Case-fatality rates in nursing homes and hospitals were 70 times higher than in other settings. Cultures of environmental or animal specimens from all farms tested yielded S. enteritidis. Eggborne S. enteritidis infections are a major public health problem. Preventive measures, including educating consumers about proper handling of eggs, using pasteurized eggs, and controlling infections on egg farms, may stem the impact of this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Salmonella Infections / epidemiology*
  • Salmonella Infections / etiology
  • Salmonella Infections / prevention & control
  • Salmonella enteritidis
  • United States / epidemiology