An additional 200 outbreaks were recorded in Belgium in 2021 versus the year before, according to the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC).
There was a significant increase in the number of food poisoning outbreaks from 333 in 2020 to 547 in 2021. The number of people affected in them went from 1,262 with 27 hospitalizations and two deaths to 2,070 sick, 78 hospitalizations but no deaths in 2021.
FASFC, also known as AFSCA and FAVV, said it was important to remember 2020 was an exceptional year because of the closure of many food businesses caused by COVID-19 related restrictions.
Figures for the past year are still slightly lower than 2019, when 571 outbreaks were recorded and 2,457 people were affected.
The agent was unknown in 512 outbreaks with almost 1,700 illnesses in 2021, according to data from Sciensano, the national public health institute.
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