The current publicised estimate for the number of cases of food poisoning in Australia is 5.4 million each year. This statistically works out to a greater than 1 in 5 chance of each person reading this getting gastroenteritis from a food borne source this year.
So how do they work this figure out when the majority of people who actually have food poisoning suffer in silence and don’t report it?
A full review of all the reported food poisoning cases in a set time period is done at regular intervals. This review is done by a team of scientists and staticians. The data for this review is collected from each of the state and territory governments.
There has been a review being undertaken on figures from 2010 and we are waiting to see if there has been an increase in the estmate for the number of cases of food poisoning.
For interest the following is a summary of some of the Australian food poisoning outbreaks that occurred in 2012;
July- December – there were more than 300 cases of a type of Salmonella from pre cut fresh chicken pieces
October – 40 cases and seven hospitalisations from a type of salmonella from Almonds. A product recall also occurred.
December – three deaths and one miscarriage from Listerosis from Cheese. This outbreak also had two product recalls.