In June 1998, an increased number of persons with Salmonella blockley infection were reported from one German state. Because S. blockley is extremely uncommon in Germany, a case-control study was performed in order to find the source. A total of 13 patients met the case definition. Nine of 12 cases and 2 of 21 controls with food consumption histories reported eating smoked eel (OR 28·5; 95% CI 3·9–235·3). The consumed eel came from four different local smokeries, but could be traced back to fish farms in Italy. This outbreak indicates that eel may be a vehicle for salmonella infection and that the smoking process may not eliminate bacterial contamination from raw fish.