HPA reports increase of illness caused by food borne pathogens in England and Wales
Posted on Thursday 17th May 2012
Corin Williams of the Environmental Health News Online Reports brings alarming news regarding the increase in illness caused by food-borne pathogens. According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the number of food poisoning outbreaks rose by nearly a third last year,
Figures gathered from the HPA?s surveillance system show that in 2011 there were 83 outbreaks in England and Wales, compared to 63 the previous year.
In all, more than 2,100 people were made ill, with 173 hospitalisations and three deaths.
The rise has been blamed on the continued increase of illnesses caused by campylobacter and salmonella.
The number of cases of salmonella rose from eight in 2010 to 18 in 2011. Campylobacter remains the leading cause of food poisoning, and causes 24 per cent of outbreaks.
The HPA said: ?In 2011, as in preceding years, most campylobacter outbreaks were associated with consumption of undercooked poultry liver pate or parfait from food service establishments.?
The majority of outbreaks, 80 per cent, occurred in the food service sector. The main causes of infection arose from cross contamination and inadequate heat treatment.
The figures were released as a cryptosporidium outbreak was tracked down in Wales last week.
Public Health Wales and Cardiff County Council EHOs are investigating several cases of diarrhoeal illness at the The Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School, Cardiff.
One case has been confirmed with cryptosporidiosis and a further four cases are under investigation.