Ozfoodnet- Enhancing foodborne disease surveillance across Australia
Communicable Diseases Intelligence
This report summarises the incidence of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia and details outbreaks associated with food in 2011. OzFoodNet sites reported 30,957 notifications of 9 diseases or conditions that may be transmitted by food. The most commonly notified infections were Campylobacter (17,733 notifications) followed by Salmonella (12,271 notifications). The most frequently notified Salmonella serotype was Salmonella Typhimurium, accounting for 48% of all Salmonella notifications. OzFoodNet sites also reported 1,719 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness affecting 29,839 people and resulting in 872 people being hospitalised and 103 associated deaths. The majority of outbreaks (79% 1,352/1,719) were due to person-to-person transmission, 9% (151/1,719) were suspected or confirmed to be foodborne, 11% (192/1,719) were due to an unknown mode of transmission, 19 were due to community based Salmonella clusters, four were due to waterborne or suspected waterborne transmission and 1 outbreak was due to animal-to-person transmission. Foodborne and suspected foodborne outbreaks affected 2,104 persons and included 231 hospitalisations. There were 5 deaths reported during these outbreaks. Salmonella was the most common aetiological agent identified in foodborne outbreaks and restaurants were the most frequently reported food preparation setting. A single food source of infection was identified for 49 outbreaks, 26 of which were associated with the consumption of dishes containing raw or minimally cooked eggs and all of these outbreaks were due to S. Typhimurium. These data assist agencies to document sources of foodborne disease, develop food safety policies, and prevent foodborne illness. Commun Dis Intell 2015;39(2):E236–E264.