CDC Releases Food Safety Report Card

While some foodborne diseases haven't increased, infections from campylobacter -- which is linked to foods including poultry, raw milk, and produce -– have risen up to 14 percent in 2012 from the 2006-2008 baseline.

CDC released the nation’s latest annual food safety report card, which calculates whether foodborne illnesses are increasing and, if so, how fast. It indicates 2012 rates of infections from two germs spread commonly through food have increased significantly from the 2006-2008 baseline period, but most others have not changed. The data come from CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) report.

Infections from campylobacter -- which is linked to foods including poultry, raw milk, and produce -- has risen up to 14 percent in 2012 compared to 2006-2008. Vibrio infections as a whole were up 43 percent when compared with the rates observed in 2006-2008, but vibrio vulnificus, the most severe strain, has not increased. Foodborne vibrio infections are most often associated with eating raw shellfish.

"The U.S. food supply remains one of the safest in the world," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH. "However, some foodborne diseases continue to pose a challenge. We have the ability, through investments in emerging technologies, to identify outbreaks even more quickly and implement interventions even faster to protect people from the dangers posed by contaminated food."

Rates of a dangerous type of E. coli, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157, went back up to 1.12 per 100,000 population in 2012 after declining to 0.95 per 100,000 population in 2010.

FoodNet is a collaboration among CDC, 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. According to CDC, FoodNet's 10 sites reported 19,531 illnesses, 4,563 hospitalizations, and 68 deaths during 2012 from nine germs commonly spread through foods.

For information about avoiding illnesses from food, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

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