Salmonella cases continues to decrease while Campylobacter cases increase

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has have published their annual report on food-borne outbreaks in the European Union for 2010. The report shows that Salmonella cases  have fallen by 9% in 2010, making a decrease for the sixth year in a row, while cases of Campylobacteriosis have been increasing over the last 5 years.

The report says that 5,262 food-borne outbreaks were recorded in the EU in 2010, slightly less than in 2009. These reported outbreaks affected over 43,000 people and caused 25 deaths. However these figures could be higher due to some incidents not being reported/

The most frequently reported causes was Salmonella (31% of all outbreaks), viruses such as norovirus (15%) andCampylobacter (9%).

The most important food sources in the outbreaks were eggs and egg products, mixed and buffet meals and vegetables and derived products. The importance of vegetables as sources of outbreaks increased from previous years.

According to the report, the likely main reasons for the decrease in human salmonellosis cases has been the successful Salmonella control programmes for reducing the bacteria in poultry populations especially in laying hens.

Salmonella was found most often in chicken and turkey meat.

In 2010, a total of 212,064 Campylobacter cases in humans were reported, an increase for the fifth consecutive year with 7% more cases compared to 2009. In foodstuffs, Campylobacter was mainly found in raw poultry meat.

The report also gives an overview of other food-borne diseases. Human cases of Shiga toxin/verotoxin -producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) have been increasing since 2008 and amounted to 4,000 reported cases in 2010.

A decrease for the fifth consecutive year was recorded for human cases ofYersinia enterocolitica, a bacterium mostly found in pigs and their meat, with 6,776 cases reported in 2010.

Listeria infections in humans showed a slight decrease with 1,601 confirmed cases in 2010.

Source: European Food Safety Authority

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.