Friesema IHM, Tijsma ASL, Slegers-Fitz-James IA, Franz E
RIVM Report 2017-0051
More outbreaks of food-related infections and food poisoning were recorded in 2016 than in 2015. This is thought to be caused by a genuine rise in food-related outbreaks in the Netherlands and/or a higher report rate of outbreaks to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. A total of 594 outbreaks affecting 2731 people were reported in 2016, as compared to 406 reported outbreaks and 1850 cases the year before.
This is revealed by an analysis of the reported figures in 2016 for food infections and food poisoning. As in previous years, norovirus remains the key pathogen causing food-related outbreaks, followed by Salmonella and Campylobacter.
The figures come from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and the regional and municipal health services. They record and investigate food infections and food poisoning to prevent more cases and outbreaks. To do so, they try to get a clear picture within their own field of the contaminated sources and the nature of the pathogens. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority examines food and the places it is prepared. The regional and municipal health services focus on people who have been exposed to contaminated food, working back from them to the possible sources.
The reports received by both bodies are combined and analysed as a single whole by the Centre for Infectious Disease Control at RIVM (the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment). This integral approach provides a picture of the causal factors of food-related outbreaks in the Netherlands, the extent to which they occur and any changes and trends over the years. The figures stated however, are bound to be an understatement of the actual number of food-related outbreaks and the numbers of people affected. This is because not everyone who is ill goes to their GP or informs the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.