Foodborne disease is a major public health problem worldwide. To examine changes in foodborne illness in Australia, we estimated the incidence, hospitalizations, and deaths attributed to contaminated food circa 2010 and recalculated estimates from circa 2000. Approximately 25% of gastroenteritis cases were caused by contaminated food; to account for uncertainty we used simulation techniques to estimate 90% credible intervals. We estimate that circa 2010, 4.1 million foodborne gastroenteritis cases occurred, and circa 2000, 4.3 million cases occurred. Circa 2010, contaminated food was estimated to be responsible for 30,840 gastroenteritis-associated hospitalizations, 76 associated deaths, and 5,140 nongastrointestinal illnesses. Cases of salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis increased from 2000 to 2010 and were the leading causes of gastroenteritis-associated hospitalizations; Listeria monocytogenes and nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. infections were the leading causes of death. Although the overall incidence of foodborne illnesses declined over time in Australia, cases of foodborne gastroenteritis are still common.
Keywords: foodborne illness, foodborne disease, gastroenteritis, epidemiology, estimate, incidence, hospitalization, death, norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, toxin, bacteria, parasites, viruses, Australia