CDC issues mixed food-safety report

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Some foodborne illnesses have declined and some have increased, according to a new report from FoodNet at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Foodnet’s 2013 Food Safety Progress Report, released April 17, shows that the incidence of salmonella infections decreased by about nine percent in 2013 compared with the previous three years, bringing it to the rate last observed in the 2006-2008 baseline period. But campylobacter infections, often linked to dairy products and chicken, have risen 13 percent since 2006-2008.

The FoodNet data, which cover 10 states with 15 percent of the U.S. population, found 19,056 cases of culture-confirmed bacterial and laboratory-confirmed parasitic infection, 4,200 hospitalizations and 80 deaths during 2013.

Salmonella was the most frequent food-related cause of infection during 2013, accounting for 38 percent of reported infections, while Campylobacter was the second-most common at 35 percent.

Compared with 2010 -2012 figures, shiga-toxin producing E. coli from the O157 strains (STEC O157) were up by 16 percent, while non-0157 STECs were up 8 percent.

In a longer-term comparison, using 2006-2008 as a baseline, the incidence of infections from STEC O157 declined between 2009 and 2011, but during 2012 and 2013 moved back to near the baseline levels.

“This year’s data show some recent progress in reducing salmonella rates, and also highlight that our work to reduce the burden of foodborne illness is far from over,” says Robert Tauxe, M.D., M.P.H, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases.. To keep salmonella on the decline, we need to work with the food industry and our federal, state and local partners to implement strong actions to control known risks and to detect foodborne germs lurking in unsuspected foods.”

Read more from the CDC. 



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