November 16, 2018

IFSAC Estimates of Foodborne Illness Sources For 2016

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a tri-agency group that was created by the FDA, CDC, and USDA, has released an executive summary of the pathogens that cause foodborne illness and the foods they are linked to. Researchers looked at Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter outbreaks and illnesses for 2016. These pathogens were chosen because they cause 1.9 million illnesses each year combined, and cause severe illness. The IFSAC data was derived from 1255 foodborne illness outbreaks that occurred from 1998 to 2016 that were linked to a single food category. These estimates will help these agencies to intervene and to create policies for reducing outbreaks. Overall, E. coli O157 illnesses were most often linked to leafy greens and … [Read more...]

FDA Report Released on Restaurant Foodborne Illness Factors

The FDA has released findings from the first phase of a 10 year study that is looking at restaurant foodborne illness factors  in fast food restaurants and full service restaurants. The report looked at risk factors from 2013 to 2014. The first 10-year study was conducted between 1998 and 2008. In the 2008 study, the FDA found that the restaurant foodborne illness factors that needed the most improvement were poor personal hygiene, improper food holding/time and temperature, and contaminated equipment and protection from contamination. More than half of all food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. every year are associated with restaurant food. In 2014, when looking at outbreaks linked to a single location, restaurants accounted for 485 outbreaks, or 65% of the total, and 4780 … [Read more...]

IFSAC Releases Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria, and Campylobacter

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has released foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for four bacteria: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. This agency is a collaboration between the CDC, the FDA, and the USDA-FSIS. The agency identifies foods that are important causes of human illness. It focuses its efforts on those four bacteria, which are responsible for most food poisoning illnesses in the United States. The CDC estimates that these four pathogens cause 1.9 million foodborne illness cases every year. They base that estimate by calculating the most common food sources that are linked to illnesses. Overall, about 9,000,000 Americans are sickened with food poisoning. More than 56,000 are … [Read more...]

Why Doesn’t Everyone Who Drinks Raw Milk Get Sick?

Over the years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has received many, many messages from people defending raw milk consumption. Every one of these messages has used the claim, "I have drunk raw milk for years and I have never gotten sick." There are several problems with that statement: one is the logical fallacy of a small sample size. But first, some history. There is a Salmonella outbreak that was just discovered in Washington state. Raw milk from Pride & Joy Dairy has teated positive for a rare strain of Salmonella Dublin that sickened and hospitalized two people in that state in January 2017. The dairy's license to sell raw milk was pulled by the Washington State Department of Health. Raw milk has been consumed by people for many years. And many people have been sickened and … [Read more...]

Top 10 Food Poisoning Stories of 2016

These are the top 10 food stories of 2016. We chose them based on the impact they had on the food world and on the people who were sickened in outbreaks, and on how they changed how we look at our food supply. Many of these outbreaks were uncovered by the PulseNet system, a national database of food poisoning illnesses. All of these outbreaks serve as a reminder that everyone needs to be careful about the foods they eat, about where they eat foods, and the importance of thorough handwashing. And this list is a reminder that food companies need to be held accountable when the foods they produce make people sick. 10. Petting Zoo Outbreaks Petting zoo outbreaks became common a few years ago, when a huge outbreak sickened more than 100 people at the Cleveland County Fair in North … [Read more...]

CDC Develops FoodNet Fast For Consumers to Track Outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed an interactive online program so consumers can track foodborne illness outbreaks over a 20 year period. The tool is called FoodNet Fast. The database includes confirmed cases of infection reported to FoodNet, which is the CDC's Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network. It includes outbreaks from 1996 through 2015. People can search by year, pathogen, age group, sex, and race. To develop the database, officials used surveillance from FoodNet in 10 sites for infections of nine pathogens that are commonly transmitted through food, and also for hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infections that can cause kidney failure. The database also tracks how the rates of illness for Campylobacter, … [Read more...]

Iowa Launches Food Poisoning Hotline and Response Initiative

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced a new joint initiative this week with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) to help reduce the effect of foodborne illness outbreaks in that state. A hotline called IowaSic is now available for residents of that state to call if they think they have been sickened with food poisoning. That hotline number is 1-844-469-2742 (844-IowaSic) and will be answered by trained specialists. Those specialists will start an investigation into the cause and source of the illness. IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement, "these departments have joined forces to establish a statewide one-call system Iowans can use to report illnesses associated with food poisoning." Most food poisoning outbreaks are … [Read more...]

You Can Help Solve Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a press release detailing how people can help detect and solve food poisoning outbreaks. Every year, about 1 in 6 Americans (48,000,000 people) get sick from a foodborne illness. While most of these cases are individual, some are part of larger outbreaks. If a large number of people are sick in a given period and area, it's called a cluster. A cluster is an outbreak when investigations reveal that the bacteria that made them sick is the same. The CDC uses epidemiologic, traceback, and environmental investigations to help solve these outbreaks. Finding the source of the outbreaks is critical to ending it and to make sure that more people don't get sick. There are currently several active multistate foodborne illness … [Read more...]

PulseNet Prevents 276,000 Food Poisoning Cases a Year

PulseNet, a network coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prevented about 276,000 cases of food poisoning in the U.S. every year, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Every time there is an outbreak, we mention this organization, which matches DNA of pathogenic bacteria to any illnesses in its database. PulseNet began 20 years ago, linking public health labs in this country so details about E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks can be shared quickly. The illnesses this organization has prevented could have cost the U.S. $507 million in medical bills and lost productivity. The study was conducted by Dr. Robert L. Scharff, Dr. John Besser, Dr. Donald Sharp, Dr. Timothy F. … [Read more...]

USDA Finalizes Ground Meat Safety Rule

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today that it has finalized a rule to ensure that retailers can track sources of ground meats. Those products are often recalled and linked to food poisoning outbreaks. FSIS is requiring that all makers of raw ground beef products keep records of the source material so the agency can work with suppliers to recall contaminated products. Ground beef is often made with beef cuts that come from various sources. That increases the likelihood that contaminated meat will further contaminate a large amount of ground beef, and it makes the government's work on tracing suppliers much more difficult. When stores make ground beef by combining beef from different sources and do not keep clear records, recalls become more … [Read more...]

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