The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control have released findings that outline the growth levels of human cases involving campylobateriosis, Listeriosis, Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses. The findings are published in the European Union Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Foodborne Outbreaks in 2013.
- For the first time in 5 years, infections reported in humans have stabilized after several years of an increasing trend.
- Figures from the 2013 report are now similar to what was reported in 2012.
- It is still the most commonly reported foodborne disease--mostly found in chicken meat--in the European Union.
- Infections in humans increased by 8.6 percent from 2012 to 2013. The same trend has continued over the past 5 years.
- Although the number of cases is relatively low, the cases themselves are severe and invasive, usually with higher death rates than other foodborne diseases.
- Illness is acquired mostly from ready-to-eat foods. The elderly and patients with weak immune systems are the most susceptible.
Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC):
- Infection rate rose by 5.9 percent--possibly due to increased awareness of the disease following a 2011 outbreak. Better testing and reporting has been implemented since then.
- Infections have fallen for the eighth consecutive year, experiencing a 7.9 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013.
- Poultry-specific Salmonella control programs are said to have played a large part in fewer reported illnesses. The report also notes more compliance with EU Salmonella criteria.
- Cases have decreased over the past 5 years, with a 2.8 percent decline from 2012 to 2013.
- The third most commonly reported zoonotic disease in the EU.