Quantifying those who are more susceptible to foodborne illness

It is well known that certain populations – infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with other conditions that compromise the immune system – are more susceptible to developing foodborne illness.  We also know that the size of these more susceptible populations is increasing.

In a recent article published in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, UK researchers Barbara Lund from the Food Research Institute, Norwich, and Sarah O’Brien from the University of Manchester quantified the proportion of the total population in the UK and USA that is comprised by these more susceptible individuals.  Their research determined that 15 to 20% of the population in both countries is more susceptible to developing foodborne illness than the general population.

The full text of their article “The Occurrence and Prevention of Foodborne Disease in Vulnerable People” is available online at: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/fpd.2011.0860



About Les Bourquin

Professor and Food Safety Specialist Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Michigan State University
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