Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Increase in Foodborne Illnesses is expected today

Today, the CDC will conduct a Media Briefing on new FoodNet Data

Dr. Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, CDC Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases

Faye Feldstein, Acting director, Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response

Dr. Morris Potter, Lead Scientist for Epidemiology in the FDA’s Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Executive Associate for Public Health, United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, Office of Public Health Science

“Preliminary FoodNet Data on the Incidence of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food – 10 States, United States, 2007” being published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.   The new report highlights foodborne illness disease trends and growing foodborne illness challenges.

Foodborne illnesses are a substantial health burden in the United States. The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network  collects data from 10 U.S. states regarding diseases caused by enteric pathogens transmitted commonly through food. FoodNet quantifies and monitors the incidence of these infections by conducting active, population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed illnesses. This report describes preliminary surveillance data for 2007 and compares them with baseline data from the period 1996–1998.

Reuters reports
that:

U.S. efforts to contain foodborne illness have made no dent in reducing the number of infections, which were flat last year after a period of decline, according to a government report released on Thursday.

In the past two years, high-profile food safety scares involving peanut butter, spinach and other products have intensified pressure on lawmakers to protect the nation’s food supply.

Yet the 10-state report issued by government researchers found no change in the rate of infections caused by Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli O157 and several other nasty bugs in 2007 compared with the previous three years.