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Browsing by Subject "foodborne outbreak"

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  • Rahikainen, Taina (University of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitet, 2009)
    Since 1975, information on foodborne outbreaks has been collected systematically in Finland. In 1997, Finland introduced national reporting system on food and waterborne outbreaks. Working groups for foodborne outbreak investigation set up by municipalities are responsible of notifying The National Institute for Health and Welfare of suspected foodborne outbreaks. During 2004-2008, 359 notifications on food and waterborne outbreaks were sent to The National Institute for Health and Welfare. The notifications were analyzed according to time, geographical distribution, suspected source and cause, scene of the outbreak, authority responsible of the investigation and epidemiologic studies among others. Most of the notifications originated from suspected outbreaks in May. Outbreaks were most frequently reported from Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and most of the notifications were sent with a delay of 2-7 days. The most common microbiological agent was norovirus. Food was the suspected vehicle 65% of the notifications. Salad was the most common source of the outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks were reported most frequently from restaurants (31%). Microbiological samples from people were collected in all outbreaks involving army and festivals and samples from foodstuff were collected most frequently in regional outbreaks. Questionnaires were carried out most frequently in camping centers and staff canteens. The unit of environmental health and food control was responsible for the investigation of most foodborne outbreaks, but the role of the public health service increased as the magnitude of the outbreak became larger. The National Institute for Health and Welfare was consulted most frequently in regional outbreaks. This study produced concrete information on the quality and contents of the notifications of suspected foodborne outbreaks in Finland. The results of this study can be exploited in the future research.