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Salmonella the largest cause of foodborne outbreak in Canada

A Canadian government report shows 3,301 illnesses were associated with foodborne outbreaks from 2008 to 2014, with Salmonella topping the list of causes


There were a total of 115 foodborne outbreak investigations in Canada between 2008 and 2014, according to a government of Canada report released in November.

And within those 115 foodborne outbreak investigations, there were a total of 3,301 individual cases (2,261 lab-confirmed and 1,040 clinical), according to the report, called “An overview of foodborne outbreaks in Canada reported through Outbreak Summaries: 2008-2014.”

The largest proportion (2,041 out of 3,301 or 61.8 per cent) of total cases was attributed to Salmonella infections, with 87 per cent of these cases being laboratory-confirmed.

The second-highest proportion (352 out of 3,301 or 10.7 per cent) of total cases was observed for norovirus, 92.9 per cent of which were clinical cases.

Of the 3,301 total cases associated with foodborne outbreaks, 225 were hospitalized and there were 30 deaths reported.

The average number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths associated with each pathogen varied a great deal. Salmonella, Cyclospora, Clostridium perfringens and shellfish poisoning caused the greatest number of cases, however, with an average of 43, 40, 37 and 33 cases per outbreak respectively.


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