Enhancing foodborne disease surveillance across Australia in 2001: the OzFoodNet Working Group.

Rosie Ashbolt, Rod Givney, Joy E. Gregory, Gillian Hall, Rebecca Hundy, Martyn Kirk, Ian McKay, Lynn Meuleners, Geoff Millard, Jane Raupach, Paul Roche, Nittita Prasopa-Plaizier, Mohinder K. Sama, Russell Stafford, Nola Tomaska, Leanne Unicomb, Craig Williams

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36 Citations (Scopus)


In 2000, the OzFoodNet network was established to enhance surveillance of foodborne diseases across Australia. OzFoodNet consists of 7 sites and covers 68 per cent of Australia's population. During 2001, sites reported 15,815 cases of campylobacteriosis, 6,607 cases of salmonellosis, 326 cases of shigellosis, 71 cases of yersiniosis, 61 cases of listeriosis, 47 cases of shiga-toxin producing E. coli and 5 cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Sites reported 86 foodborne outbreaks affecting 1,768 people, of whom 4.0 per cent (70/1,768) were hospitalised and one person died. There was a wide range of foods implicated in these outbreaks and the most common agent was S. Typhimurium. Sites reported two international outbreaks; one of multi-drug resistant S. Typhimurium Definitive Type 104 due to helva imported from Turkey, and one of S. Stanley associated with dried peanuts from China. The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health conducted a national survey of gastroenteritis. Preliminary data from interviews of 2,417 people suggests that the incidence of foodborne illness is significantly higher than previously thought. OzFoodNet initiated case control studies into risk factors for Campylobacter, Salmonella, Listeria, and shiga-toxin producing E. coli. OzFoodNet developed a foodborne disease outbreak register for Australia; established a network of laboratories to type Campylobacter; prepared a survey of pathology laboratories; reviewed Australian data on listeriosis; and assessed the usefulness of sentinel surveillance for gastroenteritis. This program of enhanced surveillance has demonstrated its capacity to nationally investigate and determine the causes of foodborne disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-406
Number of pages32
JournalCommunicable diseases intelligence
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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