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Reported foodborne outbreaks due to noroviruses in Belgium: the link between food and patient investigations in an international context

  • L. BAERT (a1), M. UYTTENDAELE (a1), A. STALS (a2), E. VAN COILLIE (a2), K. DIERICK (a3), J. DEBEVERE (a1) and N. BOTTELDOORN (a3)...

Summary

The Belgian data for foodborne norovirus (NoV) outbreaks became available for the first time with the introduction of an extraction and detection protocol for NoV in the National Reference Laboratory for foodborne outbreaks in September 2006. In 2007, 10 NoV foodborne outbreaks were reported affecting 392 persons in Belgium. NoV became the most detected agent in foodborne outbreaks followed by Salmonella (eight foodborne outbreaks). The major implicated foods were sandwiches (4/10), where food handlers reported a history of gastroenteritis in two outbreaks. A food handler was implicated in the limited number of Belgian NoV outbreaks which is in accord with internationally recorded data. Forty foodborne and waterborne outbreak events due to NoV, epidemiological and/or laboratory confirmed, from 2000 to 2007 revealed that in 42·5% of the cases the food handler was responsible for the outbreak, followed by water (27·5%), bivalve shellfish (17·5%) and raspberries (10·0%).

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr M. Uyttendaele, Ghent University, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. (Email: Mieke.Uyttendaele@UGent.be)

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Keywords

Reported foodborne outbreaks due to noroviruses in Belgium: the link between food and patient investigations in an international context

  • L. BAERT (a1), M. UYTTENDAELE (a1), A. STALS (a2), E. VAN COILLIE (a2), K. DIERICK (a3), J. DEBEVERE (a1) and N. BOTTELDOORN (a3)...

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