Foodborne disease strategy

food poisoning salmonella
Food safety is the FSA's top priority and the reduction of foodborne disease is a key objective to ensuring food safety.

Since the FSA’s formation in 2000, there has been a considerable reduction in the level of foodborne disease caused by some pathogens. However, the cost and burden UK foodborne disease remains unacceptably high. The majority of foodborne illness is preventable and there is scope to reduce levels of disease.

The FSA’s renewed Foodborne Disease Strategy 2010 to 2015 aims to tackle foodborne disease by targeting the pathogens that have been identified as causing the greatest burden of disease. Food chain analysis shows that the pathogens whose reduction and control offer the greatest potential for public health gains are:

  • campylobacter (which causes most cases of food poisoning)
  • Listeria monocytogenes (causes the most food poisoning deaths)
  • viruses (responsible for an increasing number of cases)

The strategy is based on a farm-to-fork approach, with the aim of reducing contamination of foods during production and processing and of promoting good food hygiene practice in the kitchen, both commercially and in the home.

Other important pathogens, such as E.coli O157 and salmonella, are being addressed through other streams of work being carried out within the FSA.

The FSA continues to raise awareness and improve understanding of foodborne disease through a Food Hygiene Campaign incorporating effective food safety messages.

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