The European Food Safety Authority has reported a rise in the number of cases of food borne illnesses originating from foods of a non-animal origin.

Between 2007 and 2011, the EFSA charted a rise in the number of outbreaks, cases, hospitalisations or deaths resulting from pathogens carried on non-animal foods. This compares to a decrease from foods of animal origin.

Presenting its findings, the EFSA suggested that leafy greens presented the greatest risk, highlighting last year’s large-scale outbreak of E.coli in sprouts that originated in Germany. These were followed by salmonella and bulb and stem vegetables (such as asparagus, onion, garlic,); Salmonella and tomatoes, Salmonella and melons; and pathogenic E. coli and fresh pods, legumes or grains.

During the period, foods on non-animal origin were associated with 10% of outbreaks, 26% of human cases, 35% of hospitalisations and 46% of deaths,