ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported limited progress was made in reducing foodborne illnesses in 2013.
CDC data show Campylobacter infections have risen 13 percent since 2006-2008, while vibrio infections, often linked to raw shellfish, were at the highest level observed since active tracking began in 1996. However, the rate of Salmonella infections declined by roughly 9 percent in 2013 compared to the previous three year, while rates of other foodborne illnesses the CDC tracks were unchanged from the period between 2006 and 2008.
“This year’s data show some recent progress in reducing Salmonella rates, and also highlight that our work to reduce the burden of foodborne illness is far from over,” said Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases. “To keep Salmonella on the decline, we need to work with the food industry and our federal, state and local partners to implement strong actions to control known risks and to detect foodborne germs lurking in unsuspected foods.”
Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) provided data for the report card. FoodNet is a group of experts from CDC, 10 state health departments, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2013, FoodNet recorded more than 19,000 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations, and 80 deaths from the nine germs it tracks. CDC noted that young children were the most affected group for seven of the nine germs that FoodNet tracks.