Foodborne Outbreaks in Canada Linked to Produce: 2001 through 2009

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Abstract:

Foodborne disease outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables have been increasing in occurrence worldwide. Canada has one of the highest per capita consumption rates of fresh fruits and vegetables in the world. In this article, we review the foodborne disease outbreaks linked to produce consumption in Canada from 2001 through 2009. The 27 produce-related outbreaks included an estimated 1,549 cases of illness. Bacterial infection outbreaks represented 66% of the total. Among these, Salmonella was the most frequent agent (50% of outbreaks) followed by Escherichia coli (33%) and Shigella (17%). Cyclospora cayetanensis was the only parasite detected and was associated with seven outbreaks. Among the foodborne viruses, only hepatitis A was implicated in two outbreaks. The food vehicles most commonly implicated in outbreaks were leafy greens and herbs (26% of outbreaks), followed by seed sprouts (11%). Contamination sources and issues related to the future control of fresh produce–related foodborne disease outbreaks also are discussed.

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-126

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 2: Office of Public Health Practice, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 3: Outbreak Management Division, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1H 8J1 4: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9. jeff.farber@hc-sc.gc.ca

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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