The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have published their annual report on zoonoses and food-borne outbreaks in the European Union for 2010.
The report shows that Salmonella cases in humans fell by almost 9% in 2010, marking a decrease for the sixth consecutive year. Salmonella prevalence in poultry is also clearly declining at the EU level.
In 2010, a total of 212,064 Campylobacter cases in humans were reported, an increase for the fifth consecutive year with 7% more cases compared to 2009. In foodstuffs, Campylobacter, which can cause diarrhoea and fever, was mostly found in raw poultry meat.
The report also gives an overview of other food-borne diseases. Human cases of Shiga toxin/verotoxin -producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) have been increasing since 2008 and amounted to 4,000 reported cases in 2010. Among animals and foodstuffs, VTEC was most often reported in cattle and their meat.
A decrease for the fifth consecutive year was recorded for human cases of Yersinia enterocolitica, a bacterium mostly found in pigs and their meat, with 6,776 cases reported in 2010. The number of human cases of trichinellosis - a parasitic zoonosis – decreased significantly in 2010 (223 cases compared to 748 in 2009) with a corresponding reduction of Trichinella findings in pigs, an important source of the parasite.
Listeria infections in humans showed a slight decrease with 1,601 confirmed cases in 2010. In 2013, EFSA will be analysing the results of an EU-wide baseline survey on Listeria in ready-to-eat foods including smoked fish, heat-treated meat products and soft and semi-soft cheeses, which will provide further valuable information on its prevalence and the factors contributing to this in these high-risk foods. To complement this work, EFSA and ECDC will carry out a joint molecular typing analysis for human and food Listeria strains to identify potential links between human cases and food.
Thursday March 8, 2012/ EFSA/ European Union.