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Glob Public Health. 2012;7(7):766-78. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2011.641988. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Detecting and controlling foodborne infections in humans: lessons for China from the United States experience.

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China-US Collaborative Program on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


In the past 50 years, the United States has made major advances in human health surveillance, research and outbreak investigation that have helped reduce microbial contamination of food. In China, food safety has emerged as one of the country's most prominent domestic concerns, but there has been limited investment in surveillance, inter-agency coordination, outbreak investigation and data synthesis. After large outbreaks of Salmonella in the 1960s and E. coli O157:H7 in the 1990s, the United States transformed its approach to detecting and investigating foodborne infections, including deployment of a national, laboratory-based surveillance system that uses molecular subtyping. In China, the absence of a national, laboratory-based surveillance system means that it is difficult to rapidly detect a widely dispersed foodborne infection outbreak or the emergence of new foodborne infections. Based on lessons learned in the United States, we propose policy and administrative changes that China can adopt to strengthen detection and control of foodborne infections.

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