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Front. Sustain. Food Syst. | doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2018.00086

The Epidemiology of Salmonella enterica Outbreaks in Australia, 2001-2016

 Laura Ford1*,  Cameron Moffatt1, Emily Fearnley1, 2, Megge Miller2, Joy Gregory3, Timothy Sloan-Gardner4, Benjamin G. Polkinghorne1,  Robert Bell5,  Neil Franklin1, 6,  Deborah A. Williamson7,  Kathryn Glass1 and  Martyn D. Kirk1
  • 1National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health, Australian National University, Australia
  • 2Department for Health and Wellbeing, SA Health, Australia
  • 3Department of Health and Human Services (Australia), Australia
  • 4Act Health, Australia
  • 5Queensland Health, Australia
  • 6New South Wales Department of Health, Australia
  • 7Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia

Salmonella enterica is an important cause of foodborne illness in Australia, regularly causing high-profile outbreaks involving commercially-available foods. We used the national register of foodborne outbreaks to review the transmission pathways, settings, serotypes, and food vehicles of Salmonella outbreaks in Australia between 2001 and 2016. We examined trends over time of implicated food vehicles in outbreaks where there was statistical, microbiological, or descriptive evidence. Of the 990 Salmonella outbreaks reported, 79% (778/990) were suspected or confirmed to have been transmitted through contaminated food. Of these, 61% (472/778) occurred in food premises and 84% (656/778) were caused by Salmonella Typhimurium. Eggs and egg-containing foods were the most frequently identified food vehicle. Outbreaks due to egg-based sauces and Vietnamese style sandwiches, which often contain pâté and raw egg butter, increased, while outbreaks due to poultry meat, beef, pork, and other desserts had a decreasing trend from 2001 to 2016. Identifying food vehicles and the Salmonella serotypes causing outbreaks in Australia provides important evidence for food regulation strategies and control measures.

Keywords: Disease Outbreaks, Eggs, Australia, Foodborne disease, Salmonella typhimurium

Received: 18 Sep 2018; Accepted: 27 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Joshua B. Gurtler, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, United States

Reviewed by:

Cheleste Thorpe, Tufts University School of Medicine, United States
M. Leonor Faleiro, University of Algarve, Portugal
Aparna Tatavarthy, United States Food and Drug Administration, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Ford, Moffatt, Fearnley, Miller, Gregory, Sloan-Gardner, Polkinghorne, Bell, Franklin, Williamson, Glass and Kirk. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Laura Ford, National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, laura.ford@anu.edu.au