Summary of Reported Foodborne Disease Incidents in Sweden

A summary of reported foodborne disease incidents in Sweden, 1992 to 1997.
Lindqvist R, Andersson Y, de Jong B, Norberg P.
National Food Administration, Uppsala, Sweden.

Reports of foodborne disease incidents in Sweden from 1992 to 1997 are summarized. The results are based on reports from the municipal environmental and public health authorities to the National Food Administration and from medical authorities to the Swedish Institute for Infectious Diseases Control. A total of 555 incidents, of which 84% were outbreaks, were reported, involving 11,076 ill people. In 66% of the incidents, no disease agent was determined. Bacterial agents were implicated in 25% and viruses in 8% of the incidents. Calicivirus was the most reported agent both in terms of incidents and cases. Mixed dishes was the food category most often implicated in outbreaks, and smorgasbord and casserole or stews were the subcategories that caused the most cases. The place of consumption was unknown in 8% of the incidents. In about 60% of the incidents, the implicated food was consumed in commercial food establishments; in approximately 20% of incidents, it was consumed at home. The average annual incidence of reported foodborne disease in Sweden was estimated to be 21 cases per 100,000. The average annual incidence of reported foodborne salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis was estimated to be 2.0 and 0.6 cases per 100,000, respectively. The awareness and motivation to report foodborne diseases need to be improved, but additional sources of information are needed to counteract some of the limitations of reporting discussed in this work.