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Surveillance of Foodborne Disease III. Summary and Presentation of Data on Vehicles and Contributory Factors; Their Value and Limitations

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Foodborne disease outbreak data are collected, collated, interpreted and disseminated to improve food safety programs at all organizational levels. Part II of this series described the disease aspects of Foodborne surveillance. This part (III) focuses on the food components, with collation of data to list vehicles, significant ingredients, the places where foods were mishandled, the methods of processing or preparation, and operations that contributed to outbreaks. Specific food items should be cited as vehicles, but they will have to be put into subgroups and categories for some tabular presentations. Significant ingredients are the items in combined (mixed) foods that are the likely sources of the etiologic agents. Places of mishandling include farms, dairies, aquatic and land environments where foods are harvested, processing plants, food service establishments, homes, and transportation. Multiple places may contribute to the mishandling in any outbreak. The method of processing include all sorts of processing operations. The method of preparation is classified into the following food service systems: raw unaltered foods, assembled/prepare serve, cook-serve, cook hold-hot, cook chill serve, cook chill reheat, and acidify serve. The contributory factors are situations or operations that allow contamination of foods and survival and/or proliferation of the etiologic agents in the foods. This data will provide direction for setting food safety program priorities, suggest places and operations at which regulations need to be established and enforced, and indicate educational and training needs. Definitions of the terms used in the tables are given, and the value and limitations of each set of data in the tables and in tables of related information commonly presented in Foodborne disease surveillance summaries are reviewed. The data from the tables should be used to improve food safety programs, which is the subject of the next part of this series.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Safety Consultation and Training, 8233 Pleasant Hill Road, Lithonia, Georgia 30058, USA 2: Food Protection Section, Bureau of Community Sanitation and Food Protection, State of New York Department of Health, II University Place, Room 404, Albany, New York 12204-3399, USA 3: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0L2, Canada

Publication date: 1997-06-01

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