July 27, 2016 | EcoSure Food Safety Monitor

By Miriam Eisenberg, MS, RD, CP-FS

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The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta came out with its 2014 annual report on foodborne disease outbreaks, showing 864 outbreaks involving 13,246 people, 712 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.

CDC also reported the outbreaks led to 21 recalls of food products in 2014:

  • There were 25 multi-state outbreaks, with specific types of foods determined in 16 outbreaks. Ground beef was the contaminated food or ingredient in five of these outbreaks. Four were caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and one by Salmonella.
  • The most common single food categories were fish (43 outbreaks), chicken (23), and dairy (19, of which 15 were due to unpasteurized products). The most outbreak-associated illnesses were from seeded vegetables (e.g. cucumbers or tomatoes, 428 illnesses), chicken (354), and dairy (267).
  • As reported in previous years, restaurants (485 outbreaks, 65% of outbreaks reporting a single location of preparation), specifically restaurants with sit-down dining (394, 53%), were the most commonly reported locations of food preparation.
  • Public health officials, regulatory agencies and the food industry use data to create control strategies along the farm-to-table continuum that target specific pathogens and foods.