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Food poisoning in hospitals in Scotland, 1978–87

  • P. W. Collier (a1), J. C. M. Sharp (a1), Aida F. MacLeod (a2), G. I. Forbes (a3) and F. Mackay (a4)...

Summary

During the 10-year period 1978–87 there were 48 outbreaks of food poisoning in Scottish hospitals affeeting a total of 2287 persons of whom 12 died. This compared with 50 outbreaks during the previous 5 years (1973–77) when over 1500 persons and 7 deaths were recorded. Although the incidence of outbreaks has decreased the average number of persons affected in outbreaks has increased. A marked reduction was seen in the incidence of outbreaks due to Clostridium perfringens, in contrast to foodborne salmonellosis which remains a problem. Thirty-four hospitals, of which 10 reported two or more outbreaks, were involved. The type of hospitals most frequently affected were general (14), psychiatric (13), geriatric (9) and hospitals for the mentally subnormal (7). Meat, including poultry meat, was incriminated in over 90% of outbreaks where a food vehicle was identified. In modern or re-equipped kitchens cooking in advance with subsequent reheating is being progressively discontinued as more food is being cooked on the day of consumption, a practice which may readily explain the decreasing incidence of outbreaks due to Cl. perfringens. Bacterial cross-contamination from poultry-meat and other raw foods, compounded by inadequate temperature control, however, continues to be a problem in some hospitals. It is too early as yet to determine whether the removal of Crown immunity will have any effect on the future incidence of hospital ‘food poisoning’.

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References

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Brunton, W. A. T. & Moyes, A. (1980). An outbreak of Clostridium perfringens in a general hospital. Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Weekly Report 14 (no. 35), viiviii.
Collier, P. W., Sharp, J. C. M., Forbes, G. I. & Reilly, W. J. (1986). Foodborne disease associated with residential institutions in Scotland. In Proceedings of 2nd World Congress Foodborne Infections and Intoxications, Berlin (West), 263005 1986, 2, 659662.
Gilbert, R. J. (1983)food microbiology: Advance and prospects: society for applied bacteriology symposium series (eds Roberts, T. A. and Skinner, F. A.), pp. 4766. London and New York: Academic Press.
Humphrey, T. J., Mead, G. C. & Rowe, B. (1988). Poultry meat as a source of human salmonellosis in England and Wales. Epidemiology and Infection 100, 175184.
Reilly, W. J., Forbes, G. I., Sharp, J. C. M., Oboegbulem, S. I., Collier, P. W. & Paterson, G. M. (1988). Poultryhorne salmonellosis in Scotland. Epidemiology and Infection. 101, 115122.
Report (1986). The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into an Outbreak of Food Poisoning at Stanley Royd Hospital. Cmnd 9716. London: Her Majesty's Stationery office.
Scotland Annual Reports. Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Unit, Glasgow and Information and Statistics Division, Scottish Health Service Common Services Agency, Edinburgh.
Scottish Hospital Activity Statistics (1987). Information and Statistics Division, Scottish Health Service Common Services Agency, Edinburgh.
Sharp, J. C. M., Collier, P. W. & Gilbert, R. J. (1979). Food poisoning in hospitals in Scotland. Journal of Hygiene 83, 231236.
Walker, R. G. & Sibbald, C. J. (1986). Cook-chill food preparation in NHS hospitals in Scotland. Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Weekly Report 20 (no. 49), 5.
Yule, B. F., MacLeod, A. F., Sharp, J. C. M. & Forbers, G. I. (1988). Costing of a hospital based outbreak of poultry-borne salmonellosis. Epidemiology and Infection 100, 3542.

Food poisoning in hospitals in Scotland, 1978–87

  • P. W. Collier (a1), J. C. M. Sharp (a1), Aida F. MacLeod (a2), G. I. Forbes (a3) and F. Mackay (a4)...

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