The contamination of food is a common way for people to contract diseases. Foodborne illness can result in gastroenteritis (symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting), non-gastrointestinal illness (such as hepatitis A), serious long-term health effects (such as reactive arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome), and occasionally, even death. Furthermore, WHO states that over 200 diseases are caused by eating contaminated food with its impact ranging from common illnesses to cancer.
In Australia, legislation has been introduced to ensure food vendors are held to high standards and to ensure that all food purchased is safe to eat. All Australian state jurisdictions, along with New Zealand, are subject to the requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, and NSW is further subject to the terms of the Food Act 2003 (NSW), which is enforced by the NSW Food Authority. Experts would be able to examine whether the simple precautions were followed: including designated cooking and chilling temperatures and times, ensuring food is covered when stored, and the separation of cooked and fresh foods.
According to a government report into the food industry in 2010, there were an estimated annual 4.1 million cases of foodborne gastroenteritis acquired in Australia. Norovirus, pathogenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter spp. and non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. were the most common known causes of foodborne gastroenteritis, although approximately 80% of illnesses are of unknown pathogens.
There were an estimated annual 31,920 hospitalisations due to foodborne illness and almost 100 deaths.
Experts in this field are capable of commenting on whether procedure and practice effectively complied with safe food handling procedures.
At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.
Expertise in Action
Experts in food-born infections are often required to provide opinions in civil disputes arising out of alleged breaches of the relevant legislation.
This often involves:
- Investigation into the food handling procedures of a business
- Investigation of the food preparation or production area of a business
- Investigation of food alleged to have caused injury
- Medical examination of those alleging injury due to food poisoning
These expert opinions may be integral to the success of a matter.
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Australia's rockmelon listeria outbreak kills fourth person
Australia’s rockmelon listeria outbreak has claimed another life, bringing the death toll to four.
A total of 17 listeria cases were confirmed across eastern states on Wednesday, with two deaths each in Victoria and New South Wales.
Australia’s Foodborne Illness Reduction Strategy 2018‒2021+
In 2017 the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation agreed the food regulation system is producing strong food safety outcomes overall, and identified three priority areas for 2017–2021 to further strengthen the system.
One of these priorities is to reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella, with a nationally-consistent approach.
Foodborne illness in Australia Annual incidence circa 2010
Foodborne illness causes significant morbidity and occasional mortality in Australia. Reports of disease outbreaks linked to contaminated food are common and may result in damage to specific and related food businesses and whole industries. Lost productivity, impacts on lifestyle and medical expenses from foodborne illness can result in a substantial burden for Australia. The costs of foodborne illness highlight the need to improve efforts to prevent disease and strengthen food safety.
Samaan bht Samaan v Kentucky Fried Chicken Pty Ltd  NSWSC 381
A young girl was left severely brain damaged following ingestion of food containing salmonella from a KFC in Villawood. The NSW Supreme Court ruled that the global food chain award her $8 million in damages. Expert opinion was required.
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