In the summer of 1999 there was an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT120 in people in the north of England which was unusual in being sensitive to antimicrobial drugs. The outbreak was linked to mutton and lamb from a local abattoir, and attention focused on four holding paddocks used to retain sheep before slaughter. In November 1999, samples of soil and faeces were taken from these paddocks and samples of faeces were taken from the concrete race leading from them. Salmonella Typhimurium was isolated from 59 of the 100 samples. Between January 2000 and October 2000 seven visits were made to the abattoir at each of which 100 samples were taken from the paddocks and concrete race and examined for the presence of Salmonella. The paddocks remained heavily contaminated with S Typhimurium DT120 until April when there was a marked reduction in the recovery of the organism. By June the contamination was minimal and by August it had disappeared, and the organism was not recovered in September or October.