The FSA promotes the microbiological safety of food throughout the food chain. It is responsible for the strategy for reducing foodborne illness, promoting a hazard analysis-based approach to food safety management and providing guidance for producers, retailers, caterers and the general public. It also deals with microbiological food hazards and outbreaks of foodborne disease.
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Food safety is the Agency's top priority and the reduction of foodborne disease is a key objective to ensuring food safety.
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It was responsible for more than 371,000 estimated cases in England and Wales in 2009, resulting in more than 17,500 hospitalisations and 88 deaths. Campylobacter accounts for a third of the cost of the burden of foodborne illness in England and Wales, estimated at more than £583m in 2008.
Listeriosis, the foodborne illness caused by listeria, is relatively rare but listeria causes more deaths from food poisoning in the UK than other foodborne bugs. Vulnerable groups of the population are at increased risk. The Agency aims to reduce the number of cases of listeriosis in the UK by the year 2015 through the Listeria Risk Management Programme.
Flood water can be contaminated with sewage, animal waste and other waste, from drains or the surrounding area, and so could be contaminated with harmful bacteria or chemicals. Although, the water is usually very diluted and so the risks of getting ill are low. Following simple hygiene practices should be enough to avoid getting ill from flood water.