206040 Holiday meals: Salmonella outbreaks in hospitals and prisons

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ekaterina Naumova, BA , Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Elena Naumova, PhD , Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts School of Medicine, Boston, MA
The incidence of foodborne Salmonella infection is typically high in summer months and often linked to food and water contamination. A number of environmental and social factors substantially contribute to the high rate of foodborne outbreaks, including ambient temperature, food storage practices, poor hygiene, travel, centralized meal preparation in large quantity, and consumption related to social events. In order to design better targeted prevention programs, it is exceedingly important to determine the time periods of high risk for salmonellosis in vulnerable subpopulations. We examine temporal variations in salmonellosis using a compiled database of all investigated foodborne outbreaks in the United States from 1990 to 2006 to conduct a systematic meta-analysis. The dataset, acquired from the CDC, contains information on 1754 outbreaks (56,000+ people affected) with data on the primary pathogen, month and year of the event, affected states, number of ill and hospitalized, contaminated foods and circumstances associated with each outbreak. Compared to a national average of 325 persons per outbreak, a disproportionally high intensity of outbreaks was observed in hospital setting and prisons (4357 and 100119, respectively). In prisons, the risk of outbreaks due to eggs, poultry and raw food consumption was 5.8 (95%CI:5.10-6.57) times higher than national average. In addition, a disproportionally high rate of outbreaks was detected in summer months and around the holiday season (November/December). Although regulatory agencies aggressively act to prevent foodborne illness, raising food quality control and hygiene practices in establishments that are federally and state regulated is imperative to control exposure and contamination.

Learning Objectives:
- Assess the seasonal pattern of foodborne outbreaks with respect to a geographic location and source of contamination. - Discuss problems faced by public health professionals dealing with prevention and control of foodborne illness in vulnerable subpopulations, such as elderly, hospitalized, and institutionalized people.

Keywords: Infectious Diseases, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I abstracted data, performed literature seach and review, conducted partial data analysis, and wrote the abstract for this research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.