Sarah O'Brien, of the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Center, London, England, and colleagues analyzed recorded outbreaks of infectious intestinal diseases in private households in England and Wales, from 1992 to 1999.
General outbreaks (outbreaks affecting more than one household) accounted for 226 (5%) of the 4604 outbreaks reported during the surveillance period.
Of 4602 people affected, 205 (4.5%) were admitted to hospital.
The risk of hospitalization from outbreaks linked to the home was higher than that linked with outbreaks related to other premises.
Food was the predominant transmitter of infectious intestinal disease. These diseases seemed to occur when individuals catered for larger groups than usual - for example, barbecues and dinner parties - more frequently than other modes of transmission.
|Most common faults in food hygiene:|
- Inappropriate storage
- Inadequate cooking
- Cross contamination
|British Medical Journal|
The most frequently reported pathogen was Salmonella.
Poultry, desserts containing raw egg, and egg dishes were commonly implicated.
The most common faults in food hygiene were inappropriate storage, inadequate cooking, and cross contamination.
The downward trend in general outbreaks linked with the home is encouraging and mirrors the national decrease in Salmonella infection, conclude the authors.