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Thousands of infectious food-borne disease outbreaks (FBDO) are reported annually to the European Food Safety Authority within the framework of the zoonoses Directive (2003/99/EC). Most recognised FBDO occur locally following point source exposure, but only few are investigated using analytical epidemiological studies. In Germany, and probably also in other countries of the European Union, this seems to be particularly true for those investigated by local health authorities. Analytical studies, usually cohort studies or case-control studies, are a powerful tool to identify suspect food vehicles. Therefore, from a public health and food safety perspective, their more frequent usage is highly desirable. We have developed a small toolbox consisting of a strategic concept and a simple software tool for data entry and analysis, with the objective to increase the use of analytical studies in the investigation of local point source FBDO in Germany. .


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