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NewsBites July 2014 Issue

Foodborne Illness Rates Little Changed

We’re not exactly winning the war on foodborne illnesses, but at least last year we battled to a draw. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates for illness and hospital admissions in 2013 were down marginally from 2012. Deaths were up slightly, based on laboratory-confirmed infections caused by nine pathogens at 10 US sampling sites. Looking at specific pathogens, salmonella cases were down but still accounted for the most infections; only campylobacter, mostly from poultry and raw milk, came close. The sharpest increase, though still a small percentage of total cases, came from vibrio, a bacterium found in raw shellfish such as oysters; warmer coastal waters may be to blame, CDC experts said.

According to a study released last year, produce accounts for almost half of all foodborne illnesses, led by leafy greens like spinach and lettuce.

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