Research – Attribution Analysis of Foodborne Disease Outbreaks Related to Meat and Meat Products in China, 2002–2017

Mary Anne Liebert



This study aimed to understand the epidemiological characteristics of foodborne disease outbreaks related to meat and meat products in China from 2002 to 2017. Data collected from the National Foodborne Diseases Surveillance System and searched databases were analyzed. From 2002 to 2017, China reported 2815 outbreaks caused by foodborne diseases related to meat and meat products, resulting in 52,122 illnesses and 25,361 hospitalizations, and 96 deaths. Outbreaks were markedly seasonal and concentrated from May to September, accounting for 66.93%. Outbreaks were concentrated mainly in China’s eastern coastal and southern regions. Unidimensional attribution analysis revealed that livestock meat was the most commonly implicated food category causing the outbreaks, accounting for 28.67%. Bacteria were the most common pathogenic cause of outbreaks, accounting for 51.94%. Clostridium botulinum was the most common pathogenic cause of death, accounting for 34.38%. Improper processing was the most common contributing factor, accounting for 27.89%. Households were the most common food preparation location causing the outbreak, accounting for 34.39%. Two-dimensional and multidimensional attribution analysis found that Salmonella contamination occurred in different locations and regions, mainly caused by various contributing factors and improper processing. Nitrite poisoning is caused by improper processing in households in East China. Bacterial causes were the commonest agents associated with foodborne diseases related to meat and meat products, and improving the safety and quality of meat and meat product should be a priority.

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