We have analysed data from the surveillance scheme of general foodborne outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease in England and Wales reported to, or otherwise identified by, the PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre in 1992 and 1993. Data were available about 458 outbreaks, 197 (43%) in commercial catering premises (restaurants, cafés, hotels, public houses, and canteens), 77 (17%) associated with food prepared in private houses, and 58 (13%) in hospitals and residential institutions. Salmonellas and Clostridium perfringens were responsible for 340 outbreaks (74%) and no pathogen was identified in 55 outbreaks (12%). Organisms associated with the highest mean attack rates were Staphylococcus aureus (66%) and C. perfringens (53%). Eleven thousand people were reported to be il and 362 were admitted to hospital. There were 15 deaths, 13 of which were associated with salmonellosis. A specified food was suspected to be the vehicle of infection in 204 outbreaks (45%). Possible contributory factors were identified in 277 (61%), most commonly inappropriate storage, cross contamination, and inadequate heat treatment. Reducing the incidence of food poisoning will depend on concerted action on farms, in abattoirs and food processing plants, in wholesale and retail outlets, and in kitchens.
|Journal||Communicable disease report. CDR review|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jul 1995|