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Incidence of Foodborne Illness, 2010

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By CDC.gov

Food safety is important year round. CDC is highlighting foodborne illness data. Whether you're on vacation or cooking at home, please keep food safety in mind.

Chart: Percent changes in incidence of selected foodborne infections, U.S., 2010* (compared with 1996-1998). Data are preliminary. STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) O157: 44% decrease; Salmonella: 3% increase; Listeria: 38% decrease; Campylobacter: 27% decrease.The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) is the principal foodborne disease component of CDC's Emerging Infections Program (EIP). FoodNet is a collaborative project of the CDC, 10 state health departments (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Foodborne diseases monitored through FoodNet include infections caused by the bacteriaCampylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli(STEC), Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, andYersinia, and the parasites Cryptosporidium andCyclospora. In 1996, FoodNet surveillance began in Minnesota, Oregon, and in selected counties in California, Connecticut, and Georgia. Since then the surveillance area has expanded to include the states of Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, and selected counties in California, Colorado, and New York. In 2010, the FoodNet surveillance area covered a population of approximately 46 million persons, or 15% of the United States population.

FoodNet conducts active surveillance for foodborne diseases and related epidemiologic studies designed to help public health officials better understand the epidemiology of foodborne diseases in the United States. FoodNet also provides a network for responding to new and emerging foodborne diseases, monitoring the burden of foodborne diseases, and identifying the sources of specific foodborne diseases. Most importantly, FoodNet surveillance provides the data necessary for measuring the progress in foodborne disease prevention.

To estimate changes in incidence of laboratory-confirmed infections in 2010 compared with the average annual incidence in 1996-1998, a main-effects, log-linear Poisson regression (negative binomial) model is used. The model accounts for site-to-site variation and changes over time in the size of the population under surveillance in FoodNet.

In comparison with the 1996–1998 period, rates of infection in 2010 were lower for Shigella (57% decrease), Yersinia (52% decrease), STEC O157 (44% decrease), Listeria (38% decrease), andCampylobacter (27% decrease); slightly higher for Salmonella (though not significantly different); and significantly higher for Vibrio (115% increase).

Consumers can reduce their risk for foodborne illness by following safe food-handling and preparation recommendations, and by avoiding consumption of raw or undercooked foods of animal origin such as eggs, ground beef, and poultry; unpasteurized milk; and raw or undercooked oysters.

Food preparers should follow the easy lessons of "Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill":

Clean. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops.

Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.

Cook. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.

Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.

Report suspected illness from food to your local health department.

Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.

Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant women, those in poor health, and older adults.

Chart: Changes in incidence of laboratory-confirmed bacterial infections, U.S., 2010 (data are preliminary). Yersinia: 52% decrease. Vibrio: 115% increase. STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) O157: 44% decrease; Shigella: 57% decrease. Salmonella: 3% increase; Listeria: 38% decrease; Campylobacter: 27% decrease.

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