A Michigan team of researchers has published “Outbreaks of Foodborne Salmonella Enteritidis in The United States 1990-2015: Epidemiologic and Spatial-temporal Trends Analyses” in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. The 37-page report is posted in the Journal’s February issue.

Results, according to the abstract, “found that egg-based dishes were the most common food vehicle reported in SE outbreaks at 273 (24 percent), followed by other implicated food items of meat 130 (11 percent); vegetables 96 (8 percent); chicken items 95 (8 percent); dairy products 55 (5 percent); and bakery items 8 (1 percent) in the United States.

Compared to egg-based dishes, other food items such as meat, chicken, vegetables and dairy items have significantly contributed to SE outbreaks during the 15 year study period.

Of 1,144 SE outbreaks, 402 (35 percent) occurred in the Northeast region, followed by the South region at 253 (22 percent); West region 250 (22 percent); and the Midwestern region 239 (21 percent).

The study team of Azam Ali Sher, Bahar E. Mustafa, Sue C. Grady, Joseph C. Gardiner, and A. Mahdi Saeed includes four authors from Michigan State University with one researcher from the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan. They’ve focused on epidemiological and spatiotemporal trends analyses attributed significant proportions of the foodborne Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks to food vehicles other than eggs.

They say the results of their study can be used to plan effective strategies to mitigate the increasing occurrence of foodborne SE outbreaks. Among the findings:

• Meats and vegetable-based in addition to egg-based food items underly Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) outbreaks in the USA.

• Special food regulations and precautions should be implemented to prevent foodborne SE infections in the summer season.

• Besides restaurants, there is a timely need for public education to reduce SE infections in homes or private residences.

• Active disease surveillance should be enhanced to mitigate the increasing burden of SE infections in the country.

The study objective was to assess the roles of eggs and other food vehicles as risk factors associated with Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks aiming to address the endemicity of SE infection in the United States.

The researchers retrieved and analyzed the data of all SE outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1990 to 2015. Descriptive and analytical statistical methods including negative binomial regression models for rate-ratios estimation were used.

The International Journal of Infectious Diseases (IJID) is published monthly by International Society for Infectious Diseases. IJID is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal and publishes original clinical and laboratory-based research, together with reports of clinical trials, reviews, and some case reports dealing with the epidemiology, clinical diagnosis, treatment, and control of infectious diseases with particular emphasis placed on those diseases that are most common in under-resourced countries.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)