Fresh produce a significant source of foodborne pathogens in Europe

| January 11, 2013

A new Scientific Opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Biological Hazards Panel examines the risk to consumers from pathogens in food of non-animal origin (FoNAO).

The Panel examined data from the EU Zoonoses Monitoring programme from 2007-2011 and found that FoNAO were associated with 10% of outbreaks and 26% of reported cases of illness. They were also associated with 35% of hospitalisations and 46% of deaths, but this was largely as result of the 2011 E. coli O104 outbreak in Germany.

The Panel developed a model to identify and rank specific food/pathogen combinations most often associated with human illness. This revealed that the highest ranking combinations were Salmonella and leafy greens eaten raw, Salmonella and bulb and stem vegetables and Salmonella and tomatoes.

The full Opinion can be accessed here.

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