Between 2000 and 2005 there was a considerable reduction (19.2%) in the levels of foodborne disease; however, since then cases of foodborne illness have remained relatively stable, though increasing in recent years since 2005. This increase is largely due to a substantial increase in the number of cases of campylobacter infection, which has occurred in all UK countries. It is currently unclear whether this increase is due to a true increase in incidence, an increase in reporting, or a combination of the two. We are working closely with other relevant parties (e.g. Health Protection Agency, Health Protection Scotland, National Public Health Service for Wales and Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland) to better understand this increase.
The Agency is continuing to monitor confirmed cases of salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli O157 and L. monocytogenes as part of the 2010–15 foodborne disease strategy. In addition, we will monitor confirmed cases of norovirus, which is estimated to cause approximately 200,000 cases of foodborne disease each year in England and Wales alone.
Until 2009, the Agency reported cases of Clostridium perfringens, but it is difficult to estimate disease burden from reported cases as the disease is usually mild and the number of cases recorded each year is low, therefore the Agency will no longer be reporting cases of C. perfringens.