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Table 1 Examples of recent large-scale food safety events

From: The utilisation of tools to facilitate cross-border communication during international food safety events, 1995–2020: a realist synthesis

Year Hazard Food Geographic scope Public health impact Reference
2008 melamine milk products from China Products from were directly exported or secondarily distributed to 47 countries worldwide ~ 300,000 infants and children became ill in China, and six died [7]
2011 Escherichia coli O104 fenugreek sprouts from Egypt Products distributed to Germany and France ~ 4000 people became infected with enterohaemorrhagic E.coli, and ~ 800 developed haemolytic uremic syndrome, mainly in Germany but also in France. [8]
2012 Norovirus frozen strawberries from China Products were distributed to Germany ~ 11,000 cases of norovirus infection in Germany were reported, primarily among school children and children in care facilities [9]
2013/2014 Hepatitis A virus (HAV) traceback could not indicate a single point source of contamination; blackberries from Bulgaria and redcurrants from Poland identified as the most common ingredients in the lots of berries associated with cases. Products exported to at least 13 European countries ~ 1500 cases of HAV infection in 13 European countries were identified [10]
2017/2018 Listeria monocytogenes ready-to-eat meat products (polony) from South Africa Products were exported to 15 countries in Africa ~ 1000 cases of Listeriosis in South Africa, including 200 deaths. [11]
2017/2018 Salmonella Agona infant formula from France Products were exported or secondarily distributed to more than 80 countries worldwide 37 infants infected with salmonellosis in France [12]
2018 Listeria monocytogenes Frozen vegetable products Products were exported or secondarily exported to more than 120 countries worldwide 47 cases of Listeriosis across five countries, including nine deaths [13]