It shows that salmonella remained the most common cause of food-borne outbreaks in the European Union, followed by food-borne viruses and campylobacter. A total of 5,609 outbreaks were reported in 2007, which affected almost 40,000 people and caused 19 deaths.
The report is based on a new, robust reporting system distinguishing between possible and verified outbreaks. While the data vary considerably between member states, a high number of reported outbreaks don’t necessarily indicate a particular food safety concern, but may be indicative that an effective national monitoring system is in place.
The report showed that salmonella continued to be the most frequent cause of food-borne outbreaks, accounting for four out of every 10 reported outbreaks. Of the 2,201 salmonella outbreaks reported, 590 could be verified by laboratory detection or by analytical epidemiological evidence. The remainder were also likely to be food-borne outbreaks, but no conclusive evidence was available. These outbreaks affected 8,922 people and caused 10 deaths. Eggs or products containing eggs were the foods most frequently involved in the salmonella outbreaks.
As in the previous year, viruses were the second most frequent cause of food-borne outbreaks. Altogether, food-borne viruses accounted for 668 reported outbreaks (of which 111 were verified) affecting more than 3,700 people but causing no deaths. Crustaceans, shellfish, molluscs and buffet meals were reported as the sources of viral outbreaks. Campylobacter followed in the list of most common causes, with 461 outbreaks, of which 29 (excluding a large waterborne outbreak) were verified, affecting 244 people. Broiler meat and other meats remained the most common food source of these outbreaks.
Bacterial toxins, such as those produced by bacillus, clostridium or staphylococcus bacteria were the reported cause of 458 outbreaks in the EU, and four deaths. Member states also reported outbreaks caused by other bacteria, such as E. coli, yersinia and listeria, as well as parasites. 17 waterborne outbreaks were also reported, affecting 10,912 people.
In 2007, a total of 5,609 food-borne outbreaks were reported by EU member states, a slight decrease from 2006. Of the total number of outbreaks, 36% (over 2000) were verified by laboratory detection of the pathogen in food or by epidemiological evidence showing a link between human infection and the food source. The specific cause of five of the 19 deaths caused by food-borne outbreaks couldn’t be identified.
The majority of food-borne outbreaks in 2007 were outbreaks affecting more than one household. The contaminated foodstuffs were most commonly consumed in homes or in restaurants, cafes, hotels or other caterers. Other places where outbreaks occurred included schools, canteens and hospitals or medical care facilities.
The data on food-borne outbreaks in 2007 provided by 22 EU member states varied significantly, because national investigation and reporting systems are not harmonised within the EU. Numbers of verified outbreaks reported by member states don’t necessarily reflect different levels of food safety. It’s more likely that a high number of reported outbreaks indicates the effectiveness of national monitoring systems. Norway and Switzerland also submitted data for the report.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entry 11 September – enter now!