Salmonella accounts for most foodborne outbreaks in the EU


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Nearly one in three foodborne outbreaks in the European Union (EU) in 2018 were caused by Salmonella, according to the annual report on trends and sources of zoonoses published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

In 2018, EU Member States reported 5,146 foodborne outbreaks affecting 48,365 people.

Salmonellosis was the second most commonly reported gastrointestinal infection in humans in the EU (91,857 cases reported), after campylobacteriosis (246,571). Slovakia, Spain and Poland accounted for 67 per cent of the 1,581 Salmonella outbreaks.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) became the third most common cause of foodborne zoonotic disease, with 8,161 reported cases - replacing yersiniosis with a 37 per cent increase compared to 2017. The report points out that this may be partly explained by the growing use of new laboratory technologies, making the detection of sporadic cases easier.

Of the zoonotic diseases covered, listeriosis accounted for the highest proportion of hospitalised cases (97%) and the highest number of deaths (229). The number of people affected by listeriosis in 2018 (2,549) was similar to 2017 (2,480). However, there has been an upward trend over the past 10 years.