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FSA research suggests UK foodborne illnesses have doubled since 2009

This increase is believed not to represent an increase in the number of people infected, but rather in the number of cases that can be attributed to food.
A scientific review by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has estimated that around 2.4 million foodborne illnesses occur in the UK each year, up from around one million in 2009.

The new data do not indicate an increase in the disease, nor any new public health risk, but should provide a better estimate of the incidence of food-borne intestinal diseases. The overall estimate for this disease from all sources remains the same, at around 18 million cases per year in the UK.

New studies and their support models reveal:
It is estimated that 380,000 cases of food-related norovirus occur in the UK each year.
The distribution of the role of the main routes of transmission in food shows that food consumption represents about 37% of food norovirus infections, or 26%, lettuce at retail 30%, raspberries at retail. 4% and retail oysters at 3%
Revised estimates of food noroviruses, combined with better analysis of the number of unexplained illnesses, are also likely to be caused by food, suggesting around 2.4 million UK estimates of true foodborne illness. The products arrive every year.
This work gives us a much better idea of ​​the role of food in the spread of all intestinal infectious diseases in the UK. However, that doesn't mean a lot of people are getting sick, we just feel that food is responsible for more existing cases than previously thought, Professor Guy Poppy, Chief Advisor of the Food Standards Agency said .

Much of this increase is due to innovative new research on noroviruses in food. In this context, sampling surveys focus on the five most common food-related transmission routes. Although the percentage may seem exceptional, the risk for consumers remains very low for most of these routes.

We do not change our advice to consumers and businesses. Instead, this study reinforces the need for the highest standards of personal hygiene and good eating practices in departments and homes to avoid infection.

The FSA plans to use this new and improved understanding of the importance of foodborne illness to inform future efforts to control and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. by all pathogens.


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