CDC Data Indicates Decrease in Some Foodborne Infections

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that infection rates for some foodborne illnesses decreased in 2014. The report found that the frequency of infection from certain forms of E. coli and Salmonella went down when compared with the baseline period of 2006-2008. However, that doesn’t hold true for all foodborne illnesses, as the infection rates for Campylobacter, Vibrio, and less common types of Salmonella increased.

Disease from Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157, linked to the consumption of leafy greens and under-cooked ground beef, reduced 36% when compared to 2006-2008. Salmonella Typhimurium, associated with poultry and beef, decreased 27% since the baseline period. Experts from CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture attributed the declines to better food safety standards and monitoring.

Campylobacter infection rates increased 13% and Vibrio increased 52% compared with 2006-2008. Two less common strains of Salmonella, Javiana and Infantis, more than doubled for reasons that are currently unclear. Salmonella Javiana is typically found in southeastern United States, but has been spreading within the region and to other areas of the country, CDC indicated.

The infection-rate data comes from FoodNet, CDC’s active surveillance system, which monitors foodborne illnesses caused by nine common pathogens. FoodNet compares rates between years in order to determine trends.

About Stella Bartholet

Stella Bartholet serves as the Communications Intern for Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness, and Catastrophic Response at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices through NACCHO's various storytelling and communications channels.

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