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Registry data of food-borne infections and food poisoning in the Netherlands in 2014

Registratie voedselinfecties en -vergiftigingen in Nederland, 2014

Synopsis

In 2014 there were fewer outbreaks of food-borne infections and food poisoning in the Netherlands than in previous years. However, due to a rise in the number of affected individuals per reported outbreak, the total number of sick persons increased by 13 percent compared to 2013. A total of 207 outbreaks with 1655 affected individuals were reported in 2014, compared to 290 reported outbreaks with 1460 affected individuals in 2013. In addition, 242 individual cases of food-borne infection or food poisoning were reported to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) in 2014.

These are some of the conclusions from an analysis of the 2014 registry data of food-borne infections and food poisoning in the Netherlands. The figures also show a relatively large number of norovirus outbreaks and a relatively small number of Campylobacter outbreaks compared to previous years. The number of Salmonella outbreaks increased in 2014 compared to 2013, but was still lower than in the years preceding 2013.

The relevant data are supplied by the NVWA and the regional and municipal health authorities. Since 2014, all reports are combined and analyzed as a single data set by the Centre for Infectious Disease Control (CIb) at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). This new, integrated approach provides a clearer picture of the incidence of food-borne infections and food poisoning in the Netherlands, as well as trends over time. However, the figures included in this report represent an underestimation of the actual number of food-borne infections and cases of food poisoning. This is due to the fact that many affected individuals do not visit their GP or inform the NVWA. Experts estimate that approximately 680,000 people in the Netherlands fall ill every year as a result of consuming contaminated food.

The NVWA and the regional and municipal health authorities register and investigate cases of food-borne infection and food poisoning in order to prevent further outbreaks and safeguard public health. Based on their specific expertise, these organizations try to gain insight into the possible sources of contamination and the nature of the pathogens involved. The NVWA investigates food products and the facilities where they are prepared, while the regional and municipal health authorities attempt to trace potential sources of contamination by interviewing persons who were exposed to contaminated food.
 

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