Food poisoning cases in the UK have more than doubled since 2009 – with takeaways and eating out accounting for the majority of norovirus cases.
Around 2.4 million cases are recorded every year, compared to about one million in 2009, a study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found.
Food is linked to around 380,000 cases of norovirus, a type of infectious intestinal disease (IID) commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, every year.
The percentage of norovirus cases linked to food is now just over 12% of all three million cases annually, the agency said, following a 2009 estimate of 2.5% (73,000).
Eating out accounts for 37% of all food-borne norovirus cases and takeaways account for 26%.
Over the past decade the UK’s takeaway scene has boomed, with the launch of intermediary delivery companies such as Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
Most operate via an app, with the British online food delivery industry worth £4.2bn as of this year, with 22.5m users, according to market data collector Statista.
Breaking it down even more, the humble open-headed lettuce is the single item responsible for many food-related norovirus, accounting for 30% of all cases.
Raspberries bought from shops are blamed for 4% of cases, while oysters, commonly blamed for food poisoning, only account for 3%.
Professor Guy Poppy, chief scientific adviser to the FSA, said: “We are not changing our advice to consumers and businesses.
“Instead this research reinforces the need for the highest standards of good personal and food hygiene practices in catering establishments and at home to avoid infection.”
The FSA said “innovative new research” has provided a better estimate of how many cases of IID are caused by food.
Despite the rise in numbers, the FSA said there is no new risk to public health and the study gives researchers a better idea of the role of food in the spread of all IID in the UK.
Overall, the estimate of total IID remains the same, at about 18m cases each year, with about 60% (11m) never attributed to a specific cause.
Source: Thanks https://news.sky.com/story/uk-food-poisoning-cases-double-as-takeaways-eating-out-and-lettuce-are-blamed-11939352