foodborne disease, foodborne outbreak, epidemiology, prevention, procedure
Background and aim: Foodborne diseases are a public health issue with more than 4,000 outbreak in 2021 in Europe and their management is important for prevention and controls of outbreaks. Recently, new technological tools and strategies, including whole genome sequencing (WGS), have become available to allow a highest level of discrimination in the investigation of foodborne outbreak. In this study, we presented the updated procedure for assessment of foodborne disease in a community of an Northern-Italy region, Emilia-Romagna.
Methods: In the Reggio Emilia National Health Service Local Unit (AUSL-RE), foodborne disease monitoring and control are managed by the following health services: public health and hygiene (SIP); hygiene of foodstuffs and nutrition (SIAN) and veterinary public health (SSPV) composing the developed MTA group (‘Gruppo Malattie Trasmesse da Alimenti’). Among the new tools being implemented, there is a shared computerized folder and new related managements procedures available to MTA members only, allocating information regarding any material useful to the MTA group.
Results: The main new features of the new procedure are: information sharing in all phases of the management of the infectious episode, integration of the three services through the creation of the MTA group and updated criteria for procedure activation, and finally a dedicated training programme.
Conclusions: Timely investigation, management and control of MTA outbreaks is essential for both health and economic reasons. The new features and procedures implemented in this Italian community may allow to identify rapidly the causes of a case or outbreak and better counteract their spread (www.actabiomedica.it).
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