Dramatic drop in UK foodborne disease cases
The UK Food Standards Agency has released a report
showing that lab-reported cases of foodborne pathogens have dropped by 19.2
percent from 2000 to 2005.
The change, it says, is owed to better regulations, training and public
Overall, the number of cases of people getting sick has fallen by 1.5
million over the five years to the end of 2005.
Cases of Campylobacter and Salmonella have fallen by more than 20 percent
each, but E. coli and Listeria are on the increase, with the number of Listeria
cases doubling since 2000.
Changes to UK regulations have been driven by increasing public concern
about the safety of the food chain and have resulting in more costs and greater
public scrutiny for processors.
The report reveals that 53,052 laboratory-reported cases of foodborne
pathogens were reported in 2005.
The figure represents a reduction in the number of cases by 1.5 million
over the five years, resulting in10,000 fewer hospitalisations at a cost saving
to the economy estimated at Â£750million (€1,112million), according to FSA
A preliminary evaluation of the campaign to reduce the overall incidence of
foodborne disease has concluded that the strategy had addressed the areas most
likely to have an impact on reducing illness. The strategy included food hygiene
campaigns targeting cross-contamination, encouraging thorough cooking and
raising public awareness of the dangers.
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