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PHO Grand Rounds: Estimating the health impact of foodborne illness in Ontario
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 12:00 pm to 01:00 pm
Venue: 480 University Ave. Suite 300, Toronto ON, M5G 1V2 - Boardroom 350
Infectious Diseases
City: Toronto
Type: PHO Grand Rounds
Format: In Person; Webinar

Please note: This is an open invitation and may be forwarded to interested parties.

This presentation will cover findings from a recent publication on the burden or health impact of foodborne illness in Ontario.
As part of an effort by the Environmental and Occupational Health team at Public Health Ontario (PHO) to estimate the environmental burden of disease for the province, we gauged the annual number of deaths and contacts with the healthcare system in Ontario due to exposure to pathogens and toxic substances in food.

The estimated burden of foodborne illness was largely due to gastrointestinal illness with an unknown responsible agent. Much of our understanding of enteric disease (for which food is an important transmission route) in Ontario is based on reportable disease surveillance and the identification of a causative pathogen.

This session will provide an overview of the project, present the results of our recent publication and highlight opportunities for improving our understanding of foodborne illness in Ontario, as well as the implications for policy and practice.

Article citation: Drudge C, Greco S, Kim J, Copes R. Estimated annual deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department and physician office visits from foodborne illness in Ontario. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2018 Dec 4 [Epub ahead of print].

Available from:  

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define the methodology used to estimate the burden of disease;
  • Summarize the recent Ontario burden of foodborne illness results; 
  • Describe potential implications of the study on public health policy and practice for foodborne illness prevention.

Presenters: Chris Drudge and Ray Copes

Chris Drudge is an Environmental Health Analyst with the Environmental and Occupational Health team at PHO. He has a PhD in environmental microbiology and chemistry from McMaster University and a Master of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Toronto.

Ray Copes is Chief of the Environmental and Occupational Health team. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Science at McGill University and trained in occupational and environmental medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto. Prior to coming to PHO, he was the founding Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, which is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Please note that you will receive details on how to join the webinar after registering for this event.
Public Health Ontario Rounds are approved for continuing medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI). For more information, contact


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Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or

Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2019-01-24 3:26 PM
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