(HealthDay News) – In 2009–2010, there were 1,527 foodborne disease outbreaks reported, according to research published in the Jan. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

L. Hannah Gould, PhD, from the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data submitted by all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to the CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System to examine foodborne disease outbreaks in 2009–2010.

During the study period, the authors identified 1,527 reports of foodborne disease outbreaks, which were associated with 29,444 cases of illness, 1,184 hospitalizations, and 23 deaths. Of the 790 outbreaks involving a single-laboratory-confirmed etiologic agent, norovirus accounted for 42% and Salmonella accounted for 30%. Of the 653 outbreaks for which a food vehicle was reported, 299 outbreaks (46%) were due to food composed of ingredients from one of 17, predefined mutually exclusive food commodities, most commonly beef (13%), dairy (12%), fish (12%), and poultry (11%). Within these 299 outbreaks, 27% of illnesses were attributed to eggs, 11% to beef, and 10% to poultry.

“Public health, regulatory, and food industry professionals can use this information when creating targeted control strategies along the farm-to-table continuum for specific agents, specific foods, and specific pairs of agents and foods,” the authors write. “This information also supports efforts to promote safe food-handling practices among food workers and the public.”

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