The latest joint European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) annual report on zoonoses and food-borne disease outbreaks in the EU shows that the number of human infections caused by Campylobacter remained stable in 2013 after increasing annually for five years.
The European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Food-borne Outbreaks in 2013 states that the total number of cases recorded during the year was 214,779, about the same as the figure for 2012. Nevertheless, Campylobacter is still the most common cause of foodborne disease in the EU.
The report also reveals that the number of cases of Salmonella infection fell for the eighth year in succession, with 82,694 cases being recorded, a decrease of nearly 8% over 2012. The report attributes this to effective control programmes for Salmonella in poultry.
Not all the news in the report is positive however. Cases of listeriosis were up by 8.6% to 1,763 and while this figure is comparatively small, the potential seriousness of human Listeria monocytogenes infection makes it a major concern. Reported cases of verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) infection also rose in 2013 – by 5.9%. The report suggests that this may be due to increased awareness following the large outbreaks in Germany and France in 2011.
The report can be accessed in full here.