In 2022, there were 1,165 reported outbreaks of food-related infections. An outbreak means that two or more people become ill after consuming the same food. A total of 4,470 people became ill. The number of reported outbreaks of food-related infections increases each year. In 2016, the reported number was 594 and 2,731 people became ill. As the RIVM report Registratie voedselgerelateerde uitbraken in Nederland, 2022 (Registration of food-related outbreaks in the Netherlands in 2022) shows, this number has doubled.

Cause not always known

Most food poisoning outbreaks are not even noticed. When an outbreak is reported, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) investigates the cause. Often, the cause remains unknown. When a cause is known, the main culprits are the norovirus and the Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria.

Avoiding food poisoning

The NVWA and the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) pass reports of outbreaks of food-related infections on to RIVM. This data set grants insights into the causes of outbreaks, how often they occur and any changes over time. RIVM uses these insights to advise people on how to avoid food poisoning.

Research by the NVWA, WFSR and GGDs

The NVWA and GGDs investigate outbreaks of food-related infections and poisoning in order to prevent more outbreaks and more people becoming ill. The NVWA looks at the food, its origin and the place where it is prepared. Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) examines the food in the laboratory for the presence of pathogens. The outcomes make it possible for the NVWA to monitor the safe preparation of food. The GGDs focus on people who have eaten contaminated food and try to trace the possible source(s) through them.