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Norovirus most often responsible for foodborne outbreaks in Finland

More than 130 foodborne outbreaks were recorded in Finland between 2014 and 2016. Data comes from a register of foodborne and waterborne outbreaks maintained by the former Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) that became the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) at the beginning of this year.

The number of people infected from foodborne pathogens was 2,761 in 132 outbreaks. Of these, 48 people needed hospital treatment. No deaths were reported.

Vegetables and meat common food sources
Norovirus remained the most common agent in foodborne outbreaks between 2014 and 2016. It was responsible for 42, or 32 percent, of such outbreaks.

The most significant foodborne outbreaks were because of restaurant food contaminated with norovirus in 2015 and 2016, with 100 and 131 infected, respectively, and because of arugula, also known as rocket, contaminated with Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) in 2016 with 237 infected.

The cause of outbreaks was unknown in more than a third of foodborne incidents — 54 of 132. Those affected accounted for 21 percent of all patients. That’s 582 out of 2,761 patients. The most common reason causative agent remains unknown because of the lack of patient samples.

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