Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CDC Release 2013 Foodborne Illness Report

CDC released 2013 Report – Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks United States. 2013: Annual Report.
The main findings as listed in the report:
  • In 2013, 818 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported, resulting in 13,360 illnesses, 1,062 hospitalizations, 16 deaths, and 14 food recalls. 
  • Outbreaks caused by Salmonella increased 39% from 2012 (113) to 2013 (157). Outbreak-associated hospitalizations caused by Salmonella increased 38% from 2012 (454) to 2013 (628). 
  • Fish (50 outbreaks), mollusks (23), chicken (21), and dairy (21, with 17 due to unpasteurized products) were the most common single food categories implicated in outbreaks.
  • As reported in previous years, restaurants (433 outbreaks, 60% of outbreaks reporting a single location of preparation), specifically restaurants with sit-down dining 351, 49%), were the most commonly reported locations of food preparation. 
818 foodborne outbreaks impacting 13360 people. Not too bad when you consider there are 320 million people in the US eating hopefully 3 meals a day, 365 days/year...not bad unless you are one of those poor souls who happens to get ill, then really bad is what you are feeling.  And if you take the 48,000,000 as the real number for number of cases, then the vast majority of cases must not be reported. 
Salmonella is tops among bacteria, but Norovirus is still the leading etiological agent. I know we like to blame those commercially processed foods, but in the end, a restaurant or a banquet hall is a more likely place for contracting illness. For foods, seafood and mollusks…and there are a lot of cases due to mollusks especially if we could see the rate (number of cases/number of people eating). So if you can combinine a few of these…how about eating fish or mollusks (ie raw oysters) in a restaurant?  
As far as rates of foodborne illness per state, the average was 3.3 outbreaks per million people. Nice to see that our fair state of PA rates below this average. Ohio and Minnesota, not so good.

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