In Japan, strategies for ensuring food safety have been developed without reliable scientific evidence on the relation between foodborne infections and foods. The aim of this research was to provide information on the proportions of foodborne diseases caused by seven major causative pathogens ( Campylobacte r spp., Salmonella spp., EHEC, V. parahaemolyticus , Clostridium perfringens , Staphylococcus aureus , and Norovirus) attributable to foods using analysis of outbreak surveillance data. For the calculation of the number of outbreaks attributed to each source, simple-food outbreaks were attributed to the single-food category in question, and complex-food outbreaks were classified under each category proportionally to the estimated probability. Between 2007 and 2018, 8.730 outbreaks of foodborne diseases caused by seven pathogens were reported and another 6,690 (76.6%) were of “unknown source”. We observed fluctuations in the sources of foodborne diseases caused by the seven pathogens from 2013 to 2018 as follows: chicken products (92.9%, CI 92.6–92.9) for Campylobacter spp., beef products (40.1%, CI 38.2–41.2) and vegetables (39.3%, CI 38.2–41.2) for EHEC, eggs (22.8%, CI 14.9–31.9), chicken products (13,3%, CI 6.4–21.3) for Salmonella spp., finfish (86.3%, CI 62.5–95.8) and shellfish (13.7%, CI 4.2–37.5) for V. parahaemolyticus, grains and beans (47.2%, CI 31.2–62.5) for S. aureus, vegetables (69.3%, CI 50.8–79.7) and beef products (13.1%, CI 10.2–15.3) and chicken products (10.0%, CI 1.7–27.1) for C. perfringens , and shellfish (74.7%, CI 73.1–75.9) for Norovirus. In this study, we provide the best currently available basis to evaluate the link between foodborne diseases and foods. Additionally, our results reflected the effect of strict health regulations for raw beef during a given time period, and demonstrate the importance of controlling the contamination rate of Campylobacter spp. in chicken products at each step of the food supply chain.

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