22% of all food-borne outbreaks due to incomplete cleaning of production process

Cleaning and disinfection of production facilities in the food industry are essential for food safety. A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed how important such cleaning and disinfection really is...

For many years, the CDC has been studying the main causes of food-borne outbreaks in the United States. Based on their research, the top 10 of the most common causes were prepared (see table). It shows 'incomplete cleaning of the installation' in third place, accounting for a fifth of all food-borne outbreaks. Cleaning and disinfection therefore deserve our attention. Not at least because foodborne outbreaks, according to the World Health Organisation, are a widespread and growing problem for public health in both developed and developing countries.

Table: Top 10 causes of food outbreaks (source: CDC 2006: MMWR 55(SS10):1-34)

1 Food kept for several hours at room temperature 29%
2 Manual food contact by an employee in the food industry 25%
3 Incomplete cleaning of the process installation 22%
4 Contact with an infected person or carrier 20%
5 Interruption of the cold chain 19%
6 Cross-contamination with raw meat products 12%
7 Inadequate preparation 11%
8 Raw ingredients contaminated by an animal or environment 11%
9 Too slow cooling 11%
10 Inadequate heat treatment 10%
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