New CDC Report Shows Uptick in Foodborne Infections

April 29, 2019

3 Min Read
New CDC Report Shows Uptick in Foodborne Infections
Outbreaks of Salmonella, pictured above, and other foodborne illnesses rose in 2018, according to a new CDC report. Image courtesy of Pixabay

A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published this month found that the number of laboratory verified foodborne infections like Salmonella and Campylobacter increased dramatically in the U.S. during 2018 compared to recent years. 

Using information collected from the CDC’s Emerging Infection Program Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), the report compared figures on eight common foodborne infections from 2018 with data on illnesses from 2015 through 2017. Last year, the incidence rate of Cyclospora rose by 399% from the cases recorded over the three-year period. Vibrio cases increased by 109% in 2018 from the incidents recorded in 2015-2017, and Yersinia saw a 58% lift. 

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“The incidence of most infections increased during 2018 compared with 2015-2017; this might be partially attributable to increased CIDT [culture-independent diagnostic tests] use,” the CDC wrote in the report. “The incidence of Cyclospora infections increased markedly, in part related to large outbreaks associated with produce. The number of human infections caused by Campylobacter and Salmonella, especially serotype Enteritidis, remains high.”

In all, there were 25,606 incidents of infection, 5893 hospitalizations, and 120 fatalities recorded in FoodNet during 2018. Produce and poultry (including eggs) were identified by the report’s authors as major sources of foodborne illnesses during the period and touches on ways that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working to improve prevention of infections. 

“More targeted prevention measures are needed on produce farms, food animal farms, and in meat and poultry processing establishments to make food safer and decrease human illness,” the CDC stated in the report. 

To view the CDC’s report, click here

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