A 10-year study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that raw milk and pork both contributed to food illnesses across the United State, but fell short of the number caused by poultry, fish and beef.
The study looked at more than 13,000 foodborne disease outbreaks between 1998 and 2008 that resulted in 273,120 cases of illness, 9.109 hospitalizations and 200 deaths.
When it came down to culprits of these illnesses, poultry and fish each accounted for 19 percent of the outbreaks. Beef followed with 12 percent.
“You see the same combinations of pathogens and foods repeatedly,” Hannah Gould, epidemiologist in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and lead author of the report, told Food Safety News. “It’s good to keep tracking that and now to have a method to continue to look at changes over time,” Gould commented in an interview with Food Safety News.
Dairy and pork were responsible for fewer outbreaks, but still made the list. Pork was on par with leafy vegetables, while dairy, primarily due to raw products, made the list at No. 8. See the study here.
Another report from the CDC earlier this year looked at foodborne illness outbreaks between 2009 and 2010, showing that beef, dairy, fish and poultry were associated with the highest percentages of foodborne disease outbreaks.
Raw dairy products accounted for 81 percent of the outbreaks linked to dairy during this period. Gould notes that raw dairy-related outbreaks also grew from 1998 to 2008.
“Outbreaks caused by dairy went up as well, and that seems to be caused by an increasing number of outbreaks due to unpasteurized milk,” she said.