• Open Access

The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2014


  • European Food Safety Authority,

  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

  • Correspondence: zoonoses@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: EFSA and ECDC wish to thank the members of the Scientific Network for Zoonoses Monitoring Data and the Food and Waterborne Diseases and Zoonoses Network, who provided the data and reviewed the report; the members of the Scientific Network for Zoonoses Monitoring Data for their endorsement of this scientific output; the EFSA staff (Frank Boelaert, Giusi Amore, Yves Van der Stede, Anca Stoicescu, Krisztina Nagy, Francesca Riolo, Johanna Kleine, Winy Messens, Eliana Lima, Matthew Watts, Angel Ortiz Pelaez, Michaela Hempen, Pietro Stella, Alessandro Broglia), the ECDC staff (Taina Niskanen, Lilian van Leest, Eva Warns-Petit, Therese Westrell, Csaba Ködmön, Vahur Hollo, Joana Gomes Dias and Johanna Takkinen) and the EFSA contractors: the National Food Institute Technical University of Denmark (and staff: Birgitte Helwigh, Lone Jannok Porsbo, Louise Boysen and Flemming Bager), the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy (and staff: Alfredo Caprioli, Gaia Scavia and Stefano Morabito), the Animal and Plant Health Agency, UK (and staff: Doris Mueller-Doblies and Peter Sewell) for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Approval date: 2 December 2015
  • Published date: 17 December 2015
  • Corrected date: 29 September 2016
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2015-00089
  • On request from: European Commission
  • Updated: 20 December 2016


This report of the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control presents the results of the zoonoses monitoring activities carried out in 2014 in 32 European countries (28 Member States (MS) and four non-MS). Campylobacteriosis was the most commonly reported zoonosis with an increase in confirmed human cases in the European Union (EU) since 2008. In food the occurrence of Campylobacter remained high in broiler meat. The decreasing EU trend for confirmed human salmonellosis cases since 2008 continued. More human Salmonella Enteritidis cases were reported whereas the S. Stanley cases remained, as in 2013, at a higher level compared with 2011–2012. Most MS met their Salmonella reduction targets for poultry but isolates of S. Infantis increased at EU level. In foodstuffs, the EU-level Salmonella non-compliance in fresh and processed poultry meat was rare and low, respectively. The numbers of human listeriosis cases further increased, since 2008. In ready-to-eat foods Listeria seldom exceeded the EU food safety limit. The decreasing EU trend for confirmed yersiniosis cases since 2008 continued. Positive findings for Yersinia were mainly reported in pig meat and products thereof. The number of confirmed verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) infections in humans slightly decreased compared with 2013. VTEC was reported from food and animals. A total of 5,251 food-borne outbreaks, including water-borne outbreaks, were reported. Most food-borne outbreaks were caused by viruses, followed by Salmonella, bacterial toxins and Campylobacter and with unknown causative agent in 29.1% of all outbreaks. Important food vehicles in strong-evidence food-borne outbreaks were ‘eggs and egg products’, followed by ‘mixed food’ and ‘crustaceans, shellfish, molluscs and products thereof’. The report further summarises trends and sources along the food chain of tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium bovis, Brucella, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Toxoplasma, rabies, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), West Nile virus and tularaemia.