The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published its latest Annual Report of Food Incidents, providing details of all the food, feed and environmental contamination incidents it investigated and managed in 2014.
The report reveals that the Agency was notified of 1,645 incidents during the year, a number similar to those seen in recent years. The four largest contributors to the 2014 total were microbiological contamination (24%), veterinary medicines (13%), environmental contamination (12%) and natural chemical contamination (9%).
The report shows that microbiological contamination incidents are the only category where there has been a consistent increase over time, from 147 in 2006 to 390 in 2014. However, almost a third of the incidents were the result of finding high E. coli counts in shellfish harvesting areas.
An increase in veterinary medicine incidents in 2014 is said to be the result of new reporting procedures, while fires were the main cause of environmental contamination and natural chemical contamination incidents were largely related to algal toxins and mycotoxins (especially aflatoxin).
The report can be found in full on the FSA website here.