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Registration of foodborne infections and intoxications examined by Municipal Health Services and Food Inspection Services, 2002

Registratie van voedselinfecties en -vergiftigingen onderzocht door GGD's en Keuringsdiensten van Waren, 2002

Synopsis

In this report data are presented on foodborne infections and intoxications in the Netherlands in 2002. Data are based on notifications by consumers to the Food Inspection Services and on statutory notifications by physicians to the Inspectorate for Health Care. In 2002, the number of outbreaks notified to the Inspectorate was 81, 19% lower than the 101 outbreaks notified in 2001, but comparable to the annual total of 70-80 in 1999-2000. The number of affected individuals in 2002 was 1016, with an average of over 13 individuals per outbreak. The number of incidents reported to the Food Inspection Services in 2002 (585) was somewhat higher than in previous years (516 in 2001, 506 in 2000), but the number of affected individuals was fairly similar (1784 in 2002, versus 1878 in 2001 and 1698 in 2000). At the Food Inspection Services, a probable cause for the foodborne infections and intoxications was found for 14% of the incidents. Bacillus cereus (3.4%) was most frequently reported, followed by Salmonella (1.5%). At the Inspectorate for Health Care, additional information, including causative agent, was available for 94% of the outbreaks and in 78% of these a causative agent was reported. Salmonella was most frequently identified (43%), followed by Campylobacter (20%) and Norovirus (12%). Due to the increased awareness of the possible role of norovirus in the investigations of the Public Health Services and Food Inspection Services, the importance as a causative agent has become more visual in recent years. If patient diagnostics for norovirus become more customary in the Dutch laboratories and if recently developed detection methods for norovirus in certain food products are implemented routinely, the relative importance might further increase in the future.
 

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