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Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2009 Dec;33(4):389-413.

Monitoring the incidence and causes of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia: annual report of the OzFoodNet Network, 2008.


In 2008, OzFoodNetsites reported 25,260 notifications of 9 diseases or conditions that are commonly transmitted by food. The most frequently notified infections were Campylobacter (15,535 notifications) and Salmonella (8,310 notifications). Public health authorities provided complete serotype and phage type information on 94% of all Salmonella infections in 2008. The most common Salmonella serotype notified in Australia during 2008 was Salmonella Typhimurium, and the most common phage type was S. Typhimurium 135. During 2008, OzFoodNet sites reported 1,545 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness; affecting 25,555 people and resulting in 691 people being hospitalised. There were 99 deaths during these outbreaks. The majority (83%, 1,276/1,545) of outbreaks were due to person-to-person spread, but 7% (104/1,545) were transmitted by contaminated food. Foodborne outbreaks affected 1,454 persons including 96 hospitalisations. Eleven deaths were reported during these outbreaks. For these foodborne outbreaks, Salmonella was the most common aetiological agent and restaurants were the most common setting where foods were prepared. Twenty of these foodborne outbreaks were related to the consumption of eggs; the majority (n = 18) of these outbreaks were due to various phage types of S. Typhimurium. This report summarises the incidence of disease potentially transmitted by food in Australia and details outbreaks associated with various food vehicles in 2008. These data assist agencies to identify emerging disease, develop food safety policies, and prevent foodborne illness.

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