Foodborne Infections Remain Issue Despite Progress
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that although rates for some foodborne infections are on the decline, others remain stagnant or increased in 2013. This information is presented in the latest Food Safety Progress Report for 2013.
Data was collected from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), which consists of representatives from the CDC, 10 state health departments, the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the FDA. FoodNet compiled statistics on over 19,000 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations, and 80 deaths, with young children as the most impacted group for 7 out of the 9 pathogens commonly transmitted by food.
Salmonella infections in 2013 decreased by approximately 9% compared to the previous three years, but other infections saw an increase compared to the 2006–2008 baseline period. Campylobacter infections, which are often linked to dairy products and chicken, have increased 13% and vibrio infections, linked to consuming raw shellfish, have increased 75% since 2006–2008. Rates of E. coli, listeria, and yersinia infections were unchanged.
To decrease rates of infection from poultry, new standards for cut-up poultry parts and plans to modernize poultry inspections are in process. Regulations for others sectors of the food industry such as produce farms have also been proposed. The CDC also encourages consumers to be aware of the risks of consuming foods that carry a higher risk for foodborne illness like unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, and raw oysters.
For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit CDC.gov.