Critical Evaluation of Epidemiological Study

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Study Objectives and Design An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul (S. Saintpaul) in Australia lead to an investigation, aimed at finding out what caused the increase in the number of human infections. The outbreak occurred in six Australian Jurisdictions with its epicenter in the South eastern mainland between September and November 2006 (Munnoch et al., 2009). The cases were confirmed by isolating the strain of S. Saintpaul in faecal specimen, by detection of routine surveillance (Munnoch et al., 2009). The investigators were motivated by the urgency of finding out what caused the infection, previous outbreaks associated with the consumption of fresh produce amounted to 2.4%, and 28 outbreaks were caused by cantaloupe consumption internationally (Munnoch et al., 2009). The investigators also planned to identify open and responsive suggestions for public health control measures to control for risk factors. The objective of the study was to test whether the infection of S. Saintpaul was associated with fresh produce, particularly Cantaloupe also referred to as rock melon. The hypothesis generated by the researcher was, fresh foods commonly consumed by people with S. Saintpaul strain in faecal specimen was the cause of the infection, these foods included; cantaloupe, cucumber, pear, grapes, strawberries and cooked broccoli (Munnoch et al., 2009). The research hypothesis set by the investigators is clear, and leaves little or no room for ambiguity. The researchers observed a high frequency of fresh produced consumed by cases notified as S. Saintpaul, thus the hypothesis that fresh food caused the infection. Therefore the researchers set out to investigate the link between fresh foods and S. Saintpaul infection, making the research... ... middle of paper ... ...ted the outbreak. Generalizing the study does not necessarily mean apply the study to another population; in this study it may be how relevant are the results to other populations. The fact that the outbreak occurred due to a contamination of the cantaloupe from the production process can be a lesson to other populations to increase the regulation and monitoring of fresh produce production. Furthermore this study can be used as a guide to educate populations on how to prevent further contamination of foods, as well as how to prevent food poisoning. Finally the knowledge derived from the study is not necessarily new, as other studies were done to associate contaminated cantaloupe consumption with illness. On the other hand this study provides more evidence for increased surveillance and monitoring of fresh food products at production to prevent contamination.

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