An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning in Europe caused by contaminated lasagne was detected and monitored by both national and international surveillance systems. The common source was a pasta-producing factory in Italy and high levels of Staphylococcus aureus were detected in packets of dried lasagne distributed in Luxembourg, the UK, France and Italy. Forty-seven cases were reported in the UK. Outbreaks of staphylococcal food poisoning attributed to mishandling during the food processing stage are uncommon and pasta as the food vehicle is rare. Prompt recognition of the outbreak and rapid identification of the food vehicle enabled most of the consignment to be withdrawn from the market.