Manual for reporting on food-borne outbreaks in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC for information derived from the year 2013

Question Number
EFSA-Q-2014-00051
Issued
25 March 2014
Download Report (594.99 KB)
Abstract

This manual provides specific guidance for reporting on food-borne outbreaks under the framework of Directive 2003/99/EC. It is based on the reporting format described in the European Food Safety Authority Report on ‘Updated technical specifications for harmonised reporting of food-borne outbreaks through the European Union reporting system in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC’. The objective is to harmonise and streamline the reporting to European Food Safety Authority by the Member States. The manual includes a description of the structure and scope of the reporting system for food-borne outbreaks, the definitions used in the system as well as the variables to be reported. It provides guidance with some examples on how to report and classify the causative agents, food vehicles implicated, settings, places of origin of problem and the contributory factors.

Summary

This manual provides specific guidance for reporting on food-borne outbreaks under the framework of Directive 2003/99/EC. It is based on the reporting format described in the Report on Updated technical specifications for harmonised reporting of food-borne outbreaks through the European Union reporting system in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC. The manual is in particular intended to be used when reporting the data through the web reporting application and data collection framework run by the European Food Safety Authority.

The manual includes a description of the structure and scope of the reporting system for food-borne outbreaks, the definitions used in the system as well as the variables to be reported. It provides guidance with some examples, how to report and classify the causative agents, food vehicles, settings, places of origin of problem and the contributory factors.

The distinction between food-borne outbreaks, based on the strength of evidence implicating a particular suspected food vehicle, is specifically addressed and the different sets of data to be reported for these two types of outbreaks (food-borne outbreaks supported by ‘weak’ evidence and food-borne outbreaks supported by ‘strong’ evidence) is explained.

For food-borne outbreaks where the evidence is absent (i.e. no particular food vehicle is suspected) or weak, Member States should report only a limited aggregated dataset. This limited aggregated dataset includes the number of outbreaks, as well as the number of human cases, hospitalisations and deaths by causative agent.

For food-borne outbreaks where the evidence is strong, based on an assessment of all available evidence, Member States should report a detailed dataset for each outbreak. In addition to data on the number of human cases, hospitalisations, deaths and causative agent this detailed dataset includes the food vehicle, the nature of the evidence implicating the food vehicle, and the factors in food preparation and handling that contributed to the outbreak.

This manual is specifically aimed at Member States data providers to guide the reporting of the information deriving from the year 2013.

Published
28 March 2014