1. In the United States, 1 in 3 or 76 million people contract food poisoning annually. That’s 1,461,538 cases per week, 208,219 per day, 8,675 per hour, 144 per minute, 2 per second.
  2. Different types of food poisoning include amoebiasis, campylobacter, cryptosporidiosis, gastroenteritis, giardiasis, listeriosis, salmonellosis, shigellosis, VTEC, HUS and yersiniosis.
  3. Many of the causes of food poisoning remain unknown. Known pathogens only account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths. Unknown agents account for the remaining 62 million illnesses, 265,000 hospitalizations, and 3,200 deaths
  4. Concerns over the food safety of “doggy bags” cause Australia’s NSW Food Authority, in partnership with Restaurant & Catering NSW/ACT, to produce a sticker outlining how to keep doggy bag food safe. Doggy bags are commonly taken away while the contents are in the temperature danger zone – between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius, and bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning grow very well at these temperatures.Food Poisoning Stats
  5. Only a doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms, but food poisoning symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, cramps, dehydration, gastrointestinal symptoms, weakness, fatigue and fever. Food poisoning is sometimes mistaken for intestinal flue and vice versa.
  6. Every day in Australia 11,500 people come down with some kind of foodborne disease. That’s 4.2 million cases of foodborne illness every year.
  7. Certain groups have a particularly high risk of developing food poisoning. These groups include the elderly, pregnant women, infants, young children and people with chronic diseases.
  8. New technology, called radio frequency identification (RFID) labels attach to product and transmit the condition on the food. These intelligent food labels sense spoilage in fresh meat and poultry products. The label detects bacteria levels through the wrapping. While the inside of the label is tangerine orange in colour, the product is fresh and safe to consume. When the bacteria count reaches a critical level, the orange turns to grey to indicate spoilage.
  9. Different types of poisoning take various amounts of bacteria to cause symptoms. In the case of salmonella a relatively large inoculum of 10 million to 100 million organisms is necessary to cause symptoms because salmonella is very sensitive to acid.Gourmet Guardian - Food Poisoning Report Banner
  10. Treatment of food poisoning symptoms vary. Many people have mild symptoms and will soon recover. People at risk of dehydration such as infants and the elderly should see their local doctor early. Antibiotics only required in complicated cases.
  11. Salmonella is the number one food contaminant causing nearly one-third of food-borne hospitalizations and deaths.
  12. There are many ways to protect food from poisoning. Hot food should be stored above 60 degrees and cold foods below five degrees Celsius. All food should be cooked thoroughly and rapidly. Cooked food and raw food should always be stored in separate containers.
  13. Children younger than 4 accounted for a greater proportion of reported foodborne illnesses than other age groups.
  14. Two elderly people died after eating contaminated ham and corned beef in Victoria in February 1997; another Victorian died from food poisoning in a nursing home in 1997; a child died after eating contaminated mettwurst in Adelaide in 1995. This triggered the development of new national food safety standards.
  15. A 2005 report found that approximately 120 people die from foodborne illnesses in Australia every year.
  16. A British survey found that 82% of people, and particularly the elderly (87%), think they’re unlikely to get food poisoning from food at home.
  17. The same survey found that 89% of people don’t store raw meat properly, and 63% of people don’t wash their hands after handling raw meat or fish.
  18. The Australian Food Standards Code requires businesses which sell any sort of food to be either licensed or to notify the Authority of its details. NSW has around 50,000 food businesses which have notified NSW Health of their activities in the food industry.
  19. The “Food Safety Standards – Costs and Benefits” report estimates that foodborne disease costs Australians more than $2.6 billion every year. In 1996-97, absenteeism due to food poisoning resulted in productivity losses of over $370 million.
  20. Food poisoning occurs frequently during the holidays. To prevent holiday food poisoning, experts recommend cleaning out the fridge ahead of time, to make room for your and guests’ dishes and limiting the amount of food you cook.Gourmet Guardian - Food Poisoning Report Banner
  21. In 2003, the Food Safety Information Council estimated that there are approximately 5 million Australians affected by food poisoning every year. It indicates that 0.02 per cent of meals caused some form of food-poisoning.
  22. In Australia, the annual death rate from intestinal infectious diseases – many caused by food-borne pathogens – is 1.4 per 100,000 amongst children less than a year old, 4.5 per 100,000 amongst people older than 75, and almost zero for people in the age range of 5-54 years.
  23. Food poisoning bacteria grow best at 35-37°C (our body temperature). For example, E. coil Bacteria take 7-10 hours to double in number at a temperature of 10°C, but only 1½ hours at 20°C and just 15 minutes at 37°C.
  24. A food-poisoning outbreak at a youth camp near Dubbo in 1994 was caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. Cold chicken served at lunch had been cooked the day before and allowed to cool at room temperature for more than 2 hours before it was refrigerated. Result: 230 camp participants sick with gastroenteritis, of whom 118 were treated in emergency departments and 13 admitted to hospital.
  25. Temperature abuse was also the likely cause of an outbreak of E. coli infection among Japanese school children in 1996. As a result, 6000 children fell ill and two died.
  26. E. coli leads to death in up to 5 per cent of food poisoning patients, while 5-10 percent suffer long-term kidney damage.
  27. There are more than 2000 different strains of Salmonella. After contracting Salmonella, most people feel better within 3-5 days, but data from the United States suggest that two people die out of every 1000 reported cases of salmonellosis. Typhoid, a disease no longer common in Australia, is caused by a strain of Salmonella.
  28. In the United Kingdom, the incidence of foodborne disease increased by 1.7% from 2005 to 2006 – the first increase since 2000. More than 400 people die in the UK die from food poisoning each year.
  29. In the United Kingdom during 2000, the different bacteria involved in food poisoning food poisoning outbreaks were as follows: Campylobacter jejuni (77.3%), Salmonella (20.9%), Escherichia coli  (1.4%), and all other (less 0.1%)
  30. In France an infectious agent was detected in less than 50% of food poising cases. Then it was salmonella (64%), Staphylococcus aureus (14%), Clostridium perfringens (5%) and Bacillus cereus (3.5%).
  31. In the United States, the Noroviruses are the most common cause of disease transmitted through food, causing 57% of food poising epidemics in 2004. In the past, bacterial infections were considered the most prevalent because few laboratories have the ability to search the norovirus and no active surveillance was conducted for this particular germ.
  32. Symptoms of bacterial infections from food poisoning are delayed because the bacteria need time to multiply. Usually, not observed before 12 to 36 hours after eating contaminated.
  33. The recent crisis of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) had huge media coverage, despite the very low number of human cases. Only about 100 people in the world contracted the disease during the outbreak.
  34. Some 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States each year, although the CDC estimates that because milder cases aren’t diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be 30 or more times greater. Approximately 600 people die each year after being infected.
  35. According to the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA, each year $6.9 billion in costs are associated with five bacterial pathogens, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, and E. coli non-O157:H7 STEC. These costs are associated with medical expenses, lost productivity, and even death.
  36. In England in 2002-03, 80% of hospital consultant episodes for bacterial foodborne intoxications required hospital admission and he mean length of stay in hospitals for bacterial foodborne intoxications was 6.7 days.
  37. 38.3 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are caused by known pathogens, and 13.6 million (36%) of these are attributable to foodborne transmission. Among all illnesses attributable to foodborne transmission, 30% are caused by bacteria, 3% by parasites, and 67% by viruses.
  38. In 1995, following the major Garibaldi food poisoning outbreak in South Australia, the State and Territory Health Ministers directed The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) to begin drafting the food standards. Much support and forward-looking commitment has been given to the development of new food safety standards by a number of major industry associations, particularly retailers, manufacturers and wholesaling and transport as well as the primary production sector.
  39. Around Australia, there are 24 different food hygiene laws and regulations. On top of that, there are over 700 local councils with different by-laws to regulate food businesses. The system we have now costs governments $18.6 million (net) to enforce, and it costs small business $337 million every year to comply.
  40. In a recent large-scale contamination of orange juice produced in South Australia more than 500 people have been confirmed as suffering from food poisoning after drinking the juice. Quite a few people ended up in hospital. This outbreak has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bug in the juice was a virulent strain of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella infection is one of the most common forms of food poisoning in Australia, but it is only one of a number of pathogens popping up with greater regularity in our food.Gourmet Guardian - Food Poisoning Report Banner
  41. A reduction in food poisoning of just 20 per cent would save Australia over $500 million a year.
  42. Food poisoning contaminants are usually bacteria, viruses and parasites, but may also include pesticides, toxic mushrooms and dangerous or incorrectly prepared exotic foods exotic foods, such as blood clams, barracuda and puffer fish.
  43. Contaminated food was estimated to cause about 6,000 cases of illnesses other than gastroenteritis in Australia each year, where, Toxoplasmosis was estimated to be the most common non-gastroenteritis illness, causing 5,900 new symptomatic illnesses each year. Some serious illnesses, such as invasive listeriosis, where 20% of infections are fatal were also attributed to contaminated food.
  44. Contaminated food was also estimated to cause about 42,000 Australian episodes of sequelae following acute gastroenteritis, each year where, the most common illness common illness was reactive arthritis, responsible for an estimated 21,000 episodes, while irritable bowel syndrome was responsible for 20,200 episodes each year.
  45. In 1985, 185,000 people in Chicago contracted salmonellosis from contaminated pasteurized milk distributed by one dairy plant.
  46. In one outbreak in 1994, over 200,000 people across the United States contracted salmonellosis from contaminated ice cream made in Minnesota and distributed nationally.
  47. Around sixty to eighty per cent of foodborne illness arises from the food service industry. Fast food restaurants and salad bars, rare 50 years ago, are today a primary source of food consumption for many Australians. It is estimated that the number of food service outlets in Australia, has grown 57 per cent with Australians spending 30 per cent of their food budget on take away food and dining out.
  48. Fried rice is a leading cause of Bacillus cereus emetic-type food poisoning in Australia. B. cereus is frequently present in uncooked rice, and heat-resistant spores may survive cooking.
  49. In 2002, contaminated rice is believed to be the cause of severe food poisoning that hit more than 250 people celebrating the Islamic New Year in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The outbreak was the worst mass food poisoning in Victoria since 1997 when more than 550 people fell ill after eating pork rolls infected with salmonella.
  50. In New Zealand in 2008, 22 people were poisoned after eating comb honey contaminated with tutin and its derivative hyenanchin. Exposure to honey containing this naturally occurring toxin can produce symptoms such as vomiting, delirium, giddiness, increased excitability, or in more severe cases stupor, coma and violent convulsions. It is generally accepted that as little as one teaspoon (approximately 10 ml) of unblended honey can have a severe effect on the human nervous system.
  51. In the United States, approximately 27% of people receive food poisoning every year. That’s 27 million people each year!
  52. In 1996, after collecting ground beef samples from meat processing plants around the country in 1996, the USDA determined that 7.5% of the beef samples were contaminated with Salmonella, 11.7% were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 30% were contaminated with Staphylococcus Aureus, and 53.3% were contaminated with Clostridium perfringens.
  53. A 2003 FDA report shows that pesticide violations were found in 6.1% of internationally imported foods as opposed to 2.4% in domestic foods. Rates of Salmonella in fruit and vegetables registered at 4% for imported goods and 1.1% for domestic production.
  54. In 2007, 3 million broiler chickens were fed pet food, containing toxic wheat gluten imported from China and then sold to restaurants and supermarkets all over the United States.
  55. The cost of food poisoning recipients can run up to $5 billion in direct medical expenses and lost productivity during the year.
  56. More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food
  57. WHO estimates that waterborne and food-borne diarrhoeal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually and out of that, 1.9 million of them children.
  58. About 75% of the new infectious diseases affecting humans over the past 10 years were caused by bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that are tied to food production that started in animals and animal products.
  59. Educating children on safe food handling behaviours is key to preventing food-borne diseases today and in the future.
  60. To keep perishable food safe for eating, it should never be kept at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F for more than 2 hours. Bacteria can grow well at these temperatures and may grow to levels that could cause illness.
  61. The World Health Authority states that up to 30% of industrial nations’ populations suffer food poisoning every year, and research shows kitchens to be the chief culprit, while contamination of kitchen surfaces is in the top five causes of food poisoning.
  62. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 0.5 percent of all food-borne illness is related to eggs.
  63. Over 67% of reported cases of foodborne illness are due to improper cooling.
  64. According to the Local Authorities Report on Health and Safety in Service Industries 1996 (C120 – HSE), 7% of fatalities and 17% of major injuries occurred hotel and catering. Of these statistics, 29% of the accidents were kitchen-related in the food preparation area.
  65. Hot oil from deep fat fryers is the number one cause of burns in commercial kitchens.
  66. Commercial kitchens are notoriously among the most stressful places to earn a living and are full of potential dangers to workers. In 2009, the Health & Safety Executive reported 1,187 major injuries to food business employees when working in the kitchens of the hotel and restaurant sector.Gourmet Guardian - Food Poisoning Report Banner
  67. The Burn Foundation of Philadelphia ranks food businesses in the top 50 occupations with cooks, food handlers and kitchen and wait staff most likely to experience a work related burn.
  68. According to the National Statistics from the DGLC, there were 2900 fires reported in restaurants, cafés and public houses in 2004 and 5100 fires were started by cooking appliances.
  69. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that over a two year period, emergency rooms treated almost 45,000 injuries suffered by teenage restaurant workers and nearly half of the injuries involved hot grease.
  70. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that hand injuries cost the foodservice industry about $300 million a year in medical costs, lost time from work and workers’ compensation insurance payouts.
  71. Injuries to staff from trips and slips in their workplaces cost companies in the UK around £512 million per year, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Kitchen workers, both in commercial and in large institutions, are most vulnerable because of the nature and often the pace of the work and slips and trips account for the majority of injuries in the catering trade.
  72. In a detailed analysis of food service injury causes, the 1994 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey documents that slips and falls accounted for 34 percent of all restaurant-worker-injury cases.
  73. The largest percentage of fatalities and accidents in food businesses are struck-by accidents and falls. According to statistics gathered by allbusiness.com, 13 percent of worker fatalities are caused by struck-by accidents, while 14 percent resulted from falls in commercial kitchens.
  74. 15% of injuries to foodservice workers’ were caused by “exposure to harmful substances or environment.” – BLS 1994
  75. Overexertion in lifting contributed to 10% of injuries in food businesses. Floors, walkways and ground surfaces were associated with 28% of restaurant injuries in 1994, according to the study.
  76. Cuts are the most common form of kitchen-related injuries. According to an article published by Safetytimes.com in 2005, over 400,000 kitchen knife related emergency room visits occur each year.
  77. The HSE (1997) estimated that 70% of accidents in the catering industry could be prevented by improved safety management practice.
  78. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans — 48 million people — contracts a food-borne illness each year; 3,000 die as a result.
  79. Nursing Schools published a list of the 12 most common sources of food poisoning.

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