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  • Vic salmonella outbreak hits 44 people

    Author: AAP

It could take weeks to trace the source of a major salmonella outbreak at a Melbourne luxury hotel, the health department says.

Opulent high tea at a luxury Melbourne hotel has left 44 people with salmonella poisoning.

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Health authorities say it could take weeks to trace the cause of the outbreak, but suspect egg or chicken products may be the most likely culprit.

Those who fell sick account for more than half of 77 people identified by the health department as having eaten high tea at the Langham Hotel on July 11 and 12.

Six became so ill they attended hospital emergency rooms for treatment, with four requiring admission. One person remains in hospital.

"I have to sympathise with the people who have had this illness because it is actually quite a very nasty form of diarrhoea ... it is not pleasant," Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Michael Ackland also told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the illness struck within 36 hours of exposure to contaminated food so no further cases were expected to emerge.

Melbourne woman Tanya LaManna was one of several members of her family who ate at the Langham on that weekend and fell ill.

She spent six days in hospital after recording a 41C temperature.

"It was quite scary, actually, very scary," husband Greg LaManna told 3AW radio.

"We didn't know what was going on."

Ms LaManna is recovering at home and only started eating two days ago, he said.

Dr Ackland said the hotel had since undertaken a major clean-out of its kitchen and related facilities and there was no ongoing risk.

Hotel management is co-operating fully and has provided frozen food samples for testing.

The investigation will initially focus on egg, chicken and mayonnaise-containing foods - usual suspects for salmonella - on the menu that weekend.

"It could take some weeks from today before we have the answer as to what the cause is," Dr Ackland said.

The health department is also investigating an overall recent spike in salmonella cases in Victoria.


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