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Chapter 22 : 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. An understanding of epidemiology is important, because despite all of our best efforts to prevent foodborne diseases, humans remain the ultimate bioassay for low-level or sporadic contamination of our food supply. Epidemiologic methods of foodborne disease surveillance are needed to detect outbreaks, identify their causes, and assess the effectiveness of control measures. Epidemiologic data are also important in establishing food safety priorities, allocating food safety resources, stimulating public interest in food safety issues, establishing risk reduction strategies and public education campaigns, and evaluating the effectiveness of food safety programs. 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. Models such as PulseNet provide opportunities to conduct multinational surveillance for at least the major bacterial foodborne disease agents. As foodborne disease problems imported into one country may represent disease problems endemic to the food-producing country, growing awareness of these problems could stimulate investment in interventions that improve the health of both countries.

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
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Figures

Image of Figure 22.1
Figure 22.1

Confirmed foodborne outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables, United States, 1973 to 2008. Source, CDC, Foodborne Outbreak Surveillance Summaries ( ). doi:10.1128/9781555818463.ch22f1

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
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Image of Figure 22.2
Figure 22.2

Prevalence of O157:H7 in ground beef and incidence of O157 infections in FoodNet, 1996 to 2009. Adapted from reference . doi:10.1128/9781555818463.ch22f2

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
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Image of Figure 22.3
Figure 22.3

Changing distribution of outbreaks attributed to norovirus or of unknown etiology, reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, 1998–2008. Adapted from reference . doi:10.1128/9781555818463.ch22f3

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
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Image of Figure 22.4
Figure 22.4

Numbers of confirmed and suspected outbreaks of norovirus reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, 1998 to 2008. Adapted from reference . doi:10.1128/9781555818463.ch22f4

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
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References

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Tables

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Table 22.1

Evaluating the strength of association between illness and exposure in epidemiologic studies

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 22.2

Hypothetical case-control study investigating the role of peanut butter as a source for sporadic infections

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 22.3

Hypothetical case-control study investigating the role of a specific brand of peanut butter as the source for a outbreak

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 22.4

Primary components of foodborne disease surveillance

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22
Generic image for table
Table 22.5

Levels of foodborne disease surveillance system acuity based on ability to detect types of outbreaks

Citation: Hedberg C. 2013. Epidemiology of Foodborne Diseases, p 575-593. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch22

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