Where does foodborne illness happen–in the home, at foodservice, or elsewhere–and does it matter?

Casey Jacob did a nice job on this brief paper, responding to the suggestions of reviewers and, dare I say, developing as a writer.

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease published the abstract this evening, but not the full paper, by Jacob and Powell.

So here’s the abstract as a teaser.

Foodservice professionals, politicians, and the media are often cited making claims as to which locations most often expose consumers to foodborne pathogens. Many times, it is implied that most foodborne illnesses originate from food consumed where dishes are prepared to order, such as restaurants or in private homes. The manner in which the question is posed and answered frequently reveals a speculative bias that either favors homemade or foodservice meals as the most common source of foodborne pathogens. Many answers have little or no scientific grounding, while others use data compiled by passive surveillance systems. Current surveillance systems focus on the place where food is consumed rather than the point where food is contaminated. Rather than focusing on the location of consumption—and blaming consumers and others—analysis of the steps leading to foodborne illness should center on the causes of contamination in a complex farm-to-fork food safety system.