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US Combats Food-Borne Illnesses, But Rates High

Armen Hareyan's picture

US health officials are doing everything to cut food-borne illnesses, but the rates of food poisoning cases are still remaining constant.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously set up a goal of having number of food-borne illnesses significantly reduced by 2010. Reviewing the situation for the past 3 years CDC doesn't find the results promising.

Since 1996 there were some major declines in food-borne infection rates, but all these declines took lace before 2004. From 2004 to 2007 infection rates remain constant.

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"Food safety is a continuing problem that starts at the farm and continues through the food chain all the way to the kitchen," said Dr. Robert Tauxe from CDC.

CDC bring some examples of common food-borne infections that are still common in US - like salmonella infections that didn't significantly change during these 3 years. In 2007 there were major outbreaks of salmonella poisoning posed by peanut butter and frozen pot pies.

E. coli infections were also showing promising decline in 2003 and 2004, but the rates rose within the last 3 years. In 2006 the rates were also almost as low as in 2004 and 2005, but in 2007 there were 14.92 reported cases out of 100000 people, which is an increase of infection cases. 2006 mainly reported spinach and shredded lettuce poisoning cases, and 2007 reported ground beef cases.

Infections from campylobacter, listeria, shigella, vibrio, and yersinia also did not change significantly. Campylobacter cases occurred in 12.79 out of 100000 people in 2007, shigella cases occurred in 6.26 out of 100000 people. Cryptosporidium infections even increased in 2007, but CDC finds it's may be because of better reporting, rather than actual number of cases.

Overall, there were 17883 cases of food-borne illnesses officially reported in 2007. Rates were especially high in children under age of 5. The report urges the importance of strong measures to prevent people from food poisoning and to support food safety.