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Protections Against Foodborne Illnesses Have Stalled

Health & Wellness  (tags: CDC, contamined food, food illness, health, wellness )

- 1880 days ago -
According to a report released in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), every year one out of six people in the United States (roughly 48 million people) will suffer from a foodborne illness.

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Kit B (276)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 11:09 am
(Photo Credit: living green magazine)

Protections Against Foodborne Illnesses Have Stalled

According to a report released in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), every year one out of six people in the United States (roughly 48 million people) will suffer from a foodborne illness.

Discussed in the latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the report found that the progress in reducing foodborne illnesses has in fact stalled.

By analyzing data from FoodNet, a system for tracking food-related illnesses, researchers are able to conclude that although the number of infections have lowered from the 1990s, little progress has been made in the last few years. FoodNet tracks infections caused by nine common forms of bacteria including:

E.coli 0157

Having monitored the infections of the aforementioned 48 million, they were able to conclude as to whether food safety policies were controlling potential outbreaks across the country.

In 2012 FoodNet identified just under 20,000 infections which included no less than 68 deaths; showing no significant change from previous analysis from 2006 and 2008.

Which foods are at risk?

Thanks to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), it was also able to identify ground beef and chicken as posing the greatest risk to Americans with chicken nuggets, ham and sausage posing the lowest.

In a written statement by the CSPI, they said: “The report, Risky Meat: A Field Guide to Meat & Poultry Safety, ranks 12 categories of meat and poultry based on outbreak reports and the likelihood of hospitalizations associated with the pathogens most commonly reported in those foods. Ground beef and chicken are not only responsible for the largest numbers of outbreaks and cases of illnesses, but those illnesses tend to be more severe.”

While the assessments rated bacterial related illnesses, it is important to note that the risks discussed are totally separate from the risks of diet related issues in the products.

So what can be done to eat safely?

According to the CSPI, the ultimate form of protection is defensive eating; the assumption and mind-set that all meat about to be prepared is contaminated.

Another issue regarding the safety of food is that fact that it also takes a financial toll.

In a report released by Georgetown University, researchers found that foodborne illnesses costs the United States roughly $152 billion a year in health care expenses, staff absences and insurance claims.

With that in mind, there are of course tactics in which the everyday American can take in regards to food safety.

Colorado University for example, advocates what it calls a “farm-to-table approach” in regards to ensuring food safety; doing so will not only inhibit disease, but also provide a secure source of income for local farmers.

Of course, if American citizens were able to buy their own greenhouses from credible manufacturers such as Hartley Botanic, they could also provide their families with their own source of fruit and vegetables.

Doing so would not only provide a healthy and cheap source of food (one tomato plant for example, can yield between 20 to 30 pounds of fruit per season), but also a safe one.

Editor Post | Living Green Magazine |


marie C (163)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 12:56 pm
Scary I wonder what the figures are for UK
I think London must be very high as because of the multiracial mix the latest craze is street food I have had many students down with food poisoning as there is no refrigeration it smells great but I would not try it
Thanks Kit
Recently we had the horse meat scare it was found in some of the better supermarkets (Waitrose Sainsburys etc ) It is difficult to know who to trust money money money
I thought that sourcing food was much better in USA but I guess its bad everywhere

Nancy M (169)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 1:01 pm
Funny, I have always heard of it as the CDC. Seems they truly have forgotten that P!

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 1:04 pm
The saddest thing is that too many people Think that ALL the food is actually Inspected! People I Know have said as much! I just shake my head & wash my hands...;)

lee e (114)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 1:19 pm
I've been fairly cautious going to Trader Joes for some of these items - going organic and eating less - who knows if it's alright - I'm not about to go vegan(sorry folks) -- I've suffered the worst of health issues on vegetarian diet!

JL A (281)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 1:33 pm
Sad that Congressional priorities reduce and limit funding in this area.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 5:39 pm
I don't buy anything from a factory farm source or anything that has any type of additive.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 6:08 pm
Thank you! (S, N, P, T)

Laurie H (817)
Tuesday April 30, 2013, 8:10 pm
Not good news, need to keep this in mind. Thanks Kit for this information & posting.~~

Past Member (0)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 12:09 am

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:41 am
It doesn't surprise me when any government agency like the CDC stalls. I think there is a direct correlation between corporations' complaints of too much regulation and departments like the CDC cutting back. OMG just dog food recalls are are the rise and need to be watched very closely. I don't buy any food or treats that are owned by PG or other companies that do business with CHINA. Recommend everyone get the US dog food recalls. Thanks Kit.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 5:30 am

I think Sherri is correct, we can not over look corporate influence on the CDC, the EPA and the FDA.

Vallee R (280)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 11:06 am
My hubby got sick the other month due to this and is iummune system is weak.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 11:32 am
I think it is a bit naive to assume all food is quality checked... it's practically impossible to police that.

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:15 pm

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 5:47 pm
I've got a friend right now down from foodborne illness. No fun.

Shirley B (5)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:23 pm
Anyone ever notice that you never hear about food recalls until the "after dinner" news?

Lloyd H (46)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 11:30 pm
I have real problems with the linked article as it is one out of date and much of it is from a CSPI meta analysis of studies from 2006-20010 that does not even consider vegetables as a source of food-borne illnesses, and then there is the fact that the Actual 2013 CDC/FDA/USDA report on food -borne illnesses does not agree with the old one at all and does include vegetable caused food-borne illnesses. The 2013 report from the CDC/FDA/USDA Report makes the following conclusions about confirmed cases of food-borne illnesses. Lettuce and other leafy greens are responsible for 2.2 Million food-borne illnesses every year. Other produce, fruit, melons, vegetables and nuts and their products, cause another 4.4 Million cases of food-borne illnesses per year. Meat, poultry, fish and their products cause 2.1 Million cases of food-borne illnesses per year. If you do the arithmetic, 6.6 Million cases from lettuce, fruits and other veggies is THREE(3) Times the amount of the 2.1 Million cases caused by meat, poultry and fish. And there is a problem that for some reason the list of salmonella, e-coli et alia is linked to meat and meat products while everything on the same list can be contracted from veggies as well. And the problem grows as many, far to many, people may, and I do mean may, practice safe food handling with raw meat products they are far more likely to just bite into an apple etc., or cut up a melon with out washing them first. Salmonella is just a common on melons as it is Poultry. E. coli is more common on spinach, onions, carrots, cucumbers those veggiesgrown on or in the ground than in meat. Stop and think about the major deadly food-borne illnesses in the last few years they were mostly related to vegetable products, bagged salad, spinach, green onions, peanut butter, and contaminated flour and soy products particularly from China.

Kit B (276)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 7:33 am

Thanks for the additional information, Lloyd.

Thursday May 2, 2013, 7:59 am
Thank you, Kit.

Frances Darcy (133)
Friday May 3, 2013, 2:20 pm
Cooking all food thourghly and observing strict hand hygiene practices will help... but I think many bacteria comes from bad food handling practices in the home.

pam w (139)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 3:32 pm
Frances is right! Good hygiene helps a LOT!
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