Human Salmonella cases in the EU fell by almost half in the period 2004-2009, according to the European Food Safety Authority.
At the same time, the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry decreased significantly, especially in laying hen flocks. The reduction of the bacterium in laying hen flocks is likely to be the main reason for the decline of Salmonella cases in humans, since eggs are considered the most important source of infections in the EU, said the European Food Safety Authority.
In 2003, the EU set up comprehensive control measures for zoonoses, considering Salmonella as a priority. Enhanced Salmonella programs in poultry were implemented in all EU Member States and targets set for reducing the bacterium in poultry flocks. Until 2005, the most common food-borne disease in humans in the EU was Salmonella, with almost 200,000 reported human cases that year.