Uh oh. Foodborne illnesses are rising
The CDC’s latest report on foodborne illness does not have good news.
Of eight pathogens tracked by CDC’s FoodNet system, illnesses caused by five have increased since last year and three are about the same.
During 2019, FoodNet identified 25,866 cases of infection, 6,164 hospitalizations, and 122 deaths …In 2019, compared with the previous 3 years, the incidence of infections caused by pathogens transmitted commonly through food increased (for Campylobacter, Cyclospora, STEC, Vibrio, Yersinia) or remained unchanged (for Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella). These data indicate that Healthy People 2020 targets for reducing foodborne illness will not be met.
The CDC’s conclusion?
FoodNet surveillance data indicate that progress in controlling major foodborne pathogens in the United States has stalled. To better protect the public and achieve forthcoming Healthy People 2030 foodborne disease reduction goals, more widespread implementation of known prevention measures and new strategies that target particular pathogens and serotypes are needed.
Note that Coronavirus is not a cause of foodborne illness, and has never been shown to do so. Coronavirus affects the food system in other ways: closing restaurants, schools, and other institutions; sickening farm workers, slaughterhouse workers, grocery store workers–and food inspectors.
Now more than ever is time for diligent attention to food safety procedures.