Science and Tech


Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S., while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent.
Posted at 3:42 PM, Apr 18, 2014

Scary statistics from the CDC, as a new report says the prevalence of foodborne illness in the U.S. remains high.

"Very little improvement in food poisoning cases over the past five years." (Via KMVU)

"According to the report, foodborne infections are still a public health problem. Is states dairy products, chicken and shellfish foodborne infections are rising." (Via KVAL)

Specifically, the CDC's annual report card on foodborne illness shows infections with vibrio, a bacteria found in shellfish and often linked to raw oysters, jumped 75 percent last year compared to numbers found between 2006 and 2008.

As HealthDay reports, that's the highest the number reported since the CDC started tracking the infection nearly 20 years ago.

Similarly, infections with campylobacter rose some 13 percent over the same time period. That infection is most often found in chicken and dairy products. (Via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  

But it wasn't all bad news from the report.  

It notes the number of cases of salmonella, which is the most common form of foodborne infection, actually dropped 9 percent. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Cyb-cd)

So what to make of all those numbers? Quoted by The Baltimore Sun, the deputy director of the CDC's Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases Division says:

"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."

So, still a lot of work to do. And KTVZ points out foodborne illness might be more prevalent than many of us think. "Food poisoning is a big deal. One in every six Americans gets food poisoning every year, with about 100,000 people going to the hospital."

According to the CDC, some ways to avoid foodborne illness include cooking food thoroughly, keeping food properly refrigerated and avoiding cross-contamination.