If you watch or read the news, you’ve probably read about the E. coli infections linked to the Chipotle restaurant chain. While these outbreaks were large, with 52 people in nine states infected, they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. According to a New York Times (12/15, Bakalar) report, the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that from 2010 to 2014, there were 120 multi-state foodborne infection outbreaks. These outbreaks caused a total of 7,929 illnesses, 1,460 hospitalizations, and 66 deaths.
While these numbers are alarming, the Boston Globe (12/15, Rocheleau) reports that CDC data reflects a downward trend in the numbers. The number of outbreaks actually peaked in 2000, with 1,405 cases reported. Since then the numbers have leveled off to about 800 cases per year. No one state had more outbreaks than another and imported foods account for only 18 percent of the outbreaks. The main sources of the outbreaks are fruit, beef, sprouts, and vegetable row crops like lettuce. Other contamination has come from dairy products, turkey, chicken, eggs, and fish.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://www.drhousecallsofpv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/sjlphoto1sm.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]
Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 37 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]