The Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Public Health England (PHE) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) are reminding people to take care when handling raw meat and to cook it properly.

This comes following a rise in cases of a particular strain of Salmonella typhimurium linked to lamb and mutton. The first increase in cases of this particular strain was seen July 2017. Prior to that, only two cases of this strain had been detected in England.

A number of control measures were put into place which led to a significant decline in cases at the end of 2017. A total of 118 cases were reported up until May 2018.

However, since June 2018, a further 165 cases have been reported (up to 19 October), which have led to further control measures being put in place. However, this action has not led to the same decline in cases as in 2017. The likely cause of the increased numbers of this specific strain is considered to be meat or cross-contamination with meat from affected sheep.

People can be infected with Salmonella typhimurium in a number of ways such as not cooking meat properly, not washing hands thoroughly after handling raw meat or through cross-contamination with other food, surfaces and utensils in the kitchen.