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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation
  • Bill Anderson

    Your passion for food borne illness is comendable, Bill.
    However, the best defense against foodborne illness is not to wage a relentless war on bacteria. Rather, we ought to promote good bacteria and strong immune systems.
    Only a tiny percentage (less than .1%) of bacteria are potential human pathogens. The rest are harmless, and many are beneficial and neccessary to good health. There are more bacterial cells in our body than there are human cells by several orders of magnitutde. Bacteria define who we are and our health. Without ample and diverse bacteria, and a healthy diet, we are immensely increasing out risk of foodborne illness.
    The French, with their mediteranean diet, promotion of sustainable farming (including a total ban on GMO crops), and liberal consumption of raw milk cheese, understand this fact well. A gentleman on David Gumperts blog presented the following statistics, as a rebutal to the recent FDA propoganda against raw milk cheese making.
    Using FoodNet data from 1996–1998, the CDC shows the following rates of foodborne illness comparison between France and USA. (NOTE: All of the rates are per 100,000 inhabitants /yr.)
    United States:
    • 26,000 foodborne illnesses per 100,000
    • 111 hospitalizations per 100,000
    • 1.7 deaths per 100,000
    France:
    • 1,210 foodborne illnesses per 100,000
    • 24 hospitalizations per 100,000
    • .09 deaths per 100,000

  • doc raymond

    Bill, those CDC numbers you quote are very outdated and antiquated. They are based on 1996-1998 actual numbers that are then increased by a wide range of multipliers. The newer numbers were just released a few months ago, and they are much lower, but still use a multiplier of around 25 for most illnesses and throw in Norovirus illnesses at a rate much higher than the EU uses. You cannot compare CDC estimates using multipliers for underreporting with actual cases in France, for crying out loud. Please just look at the actual numbers of reported cases per 100,000 population in the US and in France for Salmonella. Their propensity to eat raw horse flesh and other high risk foods put them way higher than the US for foodborne illnesses. With that I rest my case.

  • Theresa Kentner

    I didn’t think Horses or Buffalo ran at the same levels of risk of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli as did Beef Cattle.
    Still, I would be interested in learning why the numbers are so different.