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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

On-line version ISSN 1561-3003


PUIG PENA, Yamila; ROBERT MACEO, Brady Antonia  and  LEYVA CASTILLO, Virginia. Epidemiological factors of interest in outbreaks of food-borne diseases in Havana. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2013, vol.51, n.3, pp.262-268. ISSN 1561-3003.

Objective: determine the epidemiological factors of interest related to the occurrence of outbreaks of food-borne diseases in Havana from 2006 to 2010. Methods: a retrospective descriptive study was conducted of 130 outbreaks of food-borne diseases analyzed at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene from January 2006 to December 2010. The data were obtained from records kept at the Food Microbiology laboratory of the institution and from epidemiological surveys contained in the National Surveillance Program of the Ministry of Public Health. Results: the places where most outbreaks were reported were staff cafeterias at workplaces (43.4%), mostly caused by Clostridiumperfringens, and households (32.8 %), caused by coagulase positive Staphylococcus and Salmonella. The foods most commonly reported were meat and meat products (52.0 %), mostly from cafeterias at workplaces and schools. Household outbreaks were mainly related to the intake of sweets. 89.2% and 71.0% of the foods were not acceptable according to health indicators for total and fecal coliforms, respectively. Insufficient cooking time, cooking temperature, heating or reheating, inadequate cold or hot preservation and cross-contamination were the main contributing factors leading to the occurrence of outbreaks. Conclusions: the unacceptable microbiological quality of the foods studied reveals non-compliance with best practices in food preparation and preservation, paving the way for contamination and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria.

Keywords : food-borne diseases; outbreaks; foods.

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