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Outbreaks attributed to fresh leafy vegetables, United States, 1973–2012
  • Published Date:
    Oct 2015
  • Source:
    Epidemiol Infect. 143(14):3011-3021.
Filetype[PDF-677.43 KB]

  • Pubmed Central ID:
  • Description:
    Leafy vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet; however, they have been associated with high-profile outbreaks causing severe illnesses. We reviewed leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1973 and 2012. During the study period, 606 leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks, with 20 003 associated illnesses, 1030 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths were reported. On average, leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks were larger than those attributed to other food types. The pathogens that most often caused leafy vegetable-associated outbreaks were norovirus (55% of outbreaks with confirmed aetiology), Shiga toxin-producing | (STEC) (18%), and | (11%). Most outbreaks were attributed to food prepared in a restaurant or catering facility (85%). An ill food worker was implicated as the source of contamination in 31% of outbreaks. Efforts by local, state, and federal agencies to control leafy vegetable contamination and outbreaks should span from the point of harvest to the point of preparation.

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