Raw milk, poultry food poisonings on the rise

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that human infections from dangerous bacteria normally linked to food contamination are climbing.

The study said campylobacter cases have grown by 14 percent over the last five years. Last year, it accounted for more than one-third of food poisoning illnesses in the 10 states included in the study.

Campylobacter was highest among children under five years of age.

The CDC also estimates that for every campylobacter reported, there are 30 cases that are undiagnosed.

Campylobacter is commonly found in livestock such as cows and chickens. Dozens of people were sickened earlier this year by campylobacter infections linked to raw milk sold from an Alaska dairy. Read more.  

Among the many several Campylobacter outbreaks reported last year (including outbreaks in California, South Dakota and Kansas), one of the largest outbreaks took place along the East Coast. In February 2012, Campylobacter-contaminated raw milk sickened nearly 80 people across four states.  See, “Toddler among sick in raw milk outbreak.”

Other study also tracked laboratory-confirmed infections caused by Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and non-O157, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia. Click here for the full CDC report.

In January, the CDC released a report indicating the while salad greens accounted for the most food-related illnesses, dairy products, primarily raw milk, accounted for the most hospitalizations. The CDC also warned about the dangers of raw milk in 2012, when it reported that raw milk and dairy products were 150 times more likely to cause a disease outbreak than pasteurized dairy products. 



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Nancy Richards    
Trumansburg, NY  |  April, 22, 2013 at 09:02 AM

In the article above, near the end, it says " most of the disease outbreaks reported were linked to raw dairy products." This is misleading as I read it -- in the original article by the same author on 01-29-13, this is the text: 'Most of the disease outbreaks linked to dairy involved raw, unpasteurized products. "The weight of the raw milk outbreaks is making it look as if dairy is a bigger source of illness than we actually think it is," Patricia Griffin, a food-borne disease expert at the CDC, who was the senior author of the report, told USA Today.' It actually does NOT say that most outbreaks were linked to dairy; just that most DAIRY outbreaks were linked to raw milk, which -- regardless of whether you defend raw milk or not (I tend to be 'pro'), is kind of a no-brainer.


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