This article summarizes the results of 20 years (1991-2010) of investigation on food-borne disease outbreaks (FBDOs) collected by the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health in Taiwan. Among the 4284 FBDOs (82,342 cases) reported, the average annual number of 285 outbreaks during 2001-2010 was substantially greater than the average annual number of 143 outbreaks reported during 1991-2000. The average number of 15.5 cases per outbreak in 2001-2010 was lower than that in 1991-2000, which is 28.5 cases per outbreak. Small-scale FBDOs increased during 2001-2010. Good hygiene practices should be carried out at food service establishments and school kitchens that provide compound cooking food or meal boxes. The three most common bacterial etiology agents involved were Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. FBDOs resulting from B. cereus and Salmonella spp. exhibited an increasing trend during 2001-2010. Increased botulism FBDOs in 2001-2010 had been effectively controlled and reduced after governmental policy intervention. However, natural toxin-associated FBDOs are of concern as they can be fatal, especially the outbreaks associated with eating pufferfish by mistake. Copyright © 2013, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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