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Chapter 23 : Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases

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Abstract:

This chapter provides an introduction to epidemiology and epidemiologic methods as they are applied to problems of foodborne diseases. The concepts and methods of epidemiology can be used to examine the relationships between disease and all levels of food safety, from production and distribution to preparation and consumption. In discussing the epidemiology of foodborne diseases it is important to keep in mind the chain of infection. This includes the agent, the reservoir that contains the agent, a means of escape from the reservoir, a mode of transmission to a susceptible host, and a means of entry into the host. These elements define the agent-host environment that results in the occurrence of illness. Many of potential hazards, either in terms of specific agents, specific food ingredients, or various agent-food interactions, were originally determined as a result of foodborne illness surveillance. As food sources and foodborne disease agents are constantly changing, hazard analysis is an ongoing process that requires continuous support from public health surveillance of foodborne diseases. Public health surveillance of foodborne disease is critical to the performance of food safety systems that are based on hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems plans. Surveillance is required to identify new hazards. It also provides the ultimate feedback on the efficacy of HACCP plans. Although this chapter focuses on experiences in the United States, the same methods of observation and analysis should form the basis of foodborne disease surveillance in developed and developing countries throughout the world.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23

Key Concept Ranking

Food Safety
0.47698525
Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis
0.44059074
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
0.43085766
Foodborne Illnesses
0.42106712
Bacterial Foodborne Diseases
0.4168705
0.47698525
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Figures

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Figure 23.1

Confirmed foodborne outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables, United States, 1973–2002 ( ).

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23
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Image of Figure 23.2
Figure 23.2

O157:H7 in ground beef and incidence of O157 infections in FoodNet, 1996–2004. •, Incidence; ♦, O157 at retail; ▴, O157 at plant.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23
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Image of Figure 23.3
Figure 23.3

Incidence of infections at selected FoodNet sites, 1996–2004.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23
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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 23.1

Leading known causes of foodborne disease in the United States and ranking based on available surveillance systems

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23
Generic image for table
Table 23.2

Primary components of foodborne disease surveillance

Citation: Hedberg C. 2007. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 519-533. In Doyle M, Beuchat L (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815912.ch23

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