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Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2010 Dec;34(4):396-426.

Monitoring the incidence and causes of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia: annual report of the OzFoodNet Network, 2009.


In 2009, OzFoodNet sites reported 27,037 notifications of 9 diseases or conditions that are commonly transmitted by food. The most frequently notified infections were Campylobacter (15,973 notifications) and Salmonella (9,533 notifications). Public health authorities provided complete serotype and phage type information on 92% of all Salmonella infections in 2009. The most common Salmonella serotype notified in Australia during 2009 was Salmonella Typhimurium, and the most common phage type was S. Typhimurium 170/108. During 2009, OzFoodNet sites reported 1,820 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness, which affected 36,426 people and resulted in 1240 people being hospitalised. There were 118 deaths during these outbreaks. The majority (82%, 1496/1820) of outbreaks were due to person-to-person spread, 9% (163/1820) were suspected or confirmed to have been transmitted by contaminated food and 9% (161/1820) were due to either waterborne transmission or outbreaks with an unknown mode of transmission. Foodborne outbreaks affected 2679 persons including 342 hospitalisations. Eight deaths were reported during these foodborne outbreaks. Salmonella was the most common aetiological agent in foodborne outbreaks and restaurants were the most common setting where foods were prepared. Eighteen outbreaks were related to dishes containing raw or undercooked eggs; the majority (n=14) 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 2009. These data assist agencies to identify emerging sources of disease, develop food safety policies, and prevent foodborne illness.

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