Food Borne Illness Report Issued by CDC

Food Borne Illness Report Issued by CDC

E. coli infections are down; other pathogens rising.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is good news and bad news in efforts to control illnesses from food borne pathogens. The good news is that efforts to reduce illnesses caused by one of the most dangerous foodborne bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, appear to be paying off. Preliminary CDC data showed a drop in the incidence of infections from E. coli O157:H7 to the lowest since 2004. However, the bad news is, sickness caused by other pathogens is rising.

Davis Goldman of the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service credited the decrease in the E. coli infection rate to expanded testing in slaughterhouses last year and a renewed effort by USDA inspectors to flag sanitary problems. Still, Goldman says there is more work to do. In particular, salmonella remains a challenge.

Infections from salmonella, the most common cause of foodborne illness in the
United States, decreased slightly in 2009, but remain above the goals set by the government. The report also detailed increases last year in illnesses from campylobacter, listeria, vibrio and cryptosporidium.

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