Food poisoning in England and Wales has gone down for the fifth year in a row, according to annual figures.

There were more than 8,800 formally notified cases of food poisoning in 2019 compared to just more than 11,000 in 2018. The most recent time numbers went up was from 2013 to 2014.

Public Health England (PHE) collects notifications of infectious diseases (NOIDs) and publishes analyses of local and national trends every week. NOIDS is one of the ways by which PHE carries out surveillance of infections across the country.

Most cases of food poisoning were recorded in 45-64 year olds, followed by the 25-44 year old age group and people aged 65 and over. The lowest was in those less than 1 year old.

Yorkshire and Humberside had the most food poisoning cases by region with 2,270 followed by 1,645 in the Southeast and just more than 1,050 in the Northeast.

London had more than 660 infections while West Midlands had the lowest number with 49. In all but one of the nine regions studied, men were more affected than women. In the Eastern region the numbers were equal by gender. Wales reported 1,470 cases with more men sick then women.

PHE is yet to publish the annual report on zoonoses in the United Kingdom for 2018. Most other countries have already revealed 2019 data.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) estimates that 2.4 million foodborne illnesses occur every year in the United Kingdom.

Figures by pathogen and HUS rise
More than 4,500 cases of campylobacteriosis were recorded with almost 1,650 infections in the South East in 2019.

Nearly 700 salmonellosis infections were noted with the joint highest of 172 patients reported by London and the South East.

The data shows only one report of both listeriosis and cyclosporiasis. This is despite an outbreak of listeriosis in which seven people died linked to sandwiches served in hospitals. All 41 yersiniosis cases were from the South East.

A total of 85 Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) infections were recorded as well as 16 cases of STEC O157. Only two non-O157 STEC cases were reported. There were 26 classed as other E. coli infection or unspecified.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) cases, often associated with E. coli infections, went up to 15 from 12 the year before and are at the highest level since becoming notifiable in 2010. Six women and four men were affected in England. Fourteen cases were in those under 14 years old and one case was in the 45-64 year old age group.

London and the North East both recorded three HUS cases while the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, South East and South West all had one. Wales recorded five cases including two women and three men.

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