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3rd February 2015  Content supplied by: European Food Safety Authority

EFSA Reports Listeria and VTEC Cases Rising

Key findings of the recently published European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Food-borne Outbreaks in 2013: Going Up -

  • Listeriosis increased by 8.6 percent between 2012  and 2013 and have been increasing over the past five years. Although the  number of confirmed cases is relatively low at 1,763, these are of particular concern as the reported Listeria infections are mostly severe, invasive forms of the disease with higher death rates than for the other foodborne diseases Despite the rise of listeriosis cases reported in humans, Listeria monocytogenes, was seldom detected above the legal safety limits in ready-to-eat foods.
  • Reported cases of  verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC)  infection rose by 5.9 percent this maybe due to an effect of increased awareness in  Member States following the outbreak in 2011, which translated into better testing and reporting. No trends were observed on the presence of VTEC in food  and animals.

Going Down

  • Last  year’s report showed that human cases of campylobacteriosis decreased slightly for the first time in five years. The 2013 figures have stabilised to the levels reported in 2012. But with 214,779 cases, campylobacteriosis remains the most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.
  • Salmonellosis cases fell for the eighth year in a row, with 82,694 cases a 7.9 percent decrease in the notification rate compared with 2012. The report attributes the decrease to Salmonella control programmes in poultry and notes that most Member States met their reduction goals for prevalence in poultry for 2013. In fresh poultry meat, compliance with EU Salmonella criteria increased – a signal that Member States’ investments in control measures  are working.
  • Yersiniosis, the third most commonly reported  zoonotic disease in the EU with 6,471 cases, has been decreasing over the past  five years and declined by 2.8 percent compared with 2012.

The EFSA-ECDC report covers 16 zoonoses and foodborne outbreaks. It is  based on data collected by 32 European countries (28 Member States and four  non-Member States) and helps the European Commission and EU Member States to  monitor, control and prevent zoonotic diseases.

Read the full report: www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3991.htm



Date Published: 3rd February 2015

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