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IFSAC Develops New Model for Attributing Foodborne Illness

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a partnership between USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released a report detailing a new method for analyzing outbreak data to determine the most common food sources responsible for SalmonellaE. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) and Campylobacter.  The report, which analyzed data from nearly 1,000 outbreaks that occurred from 1998-2012, found that more than 80 percent of E. coli O157 illnesses were attributed to beef and vegetable row crops, such as leafy vegetables. Salmonella illnesses were broadly attributed across food commodities, with 77 percent of illnesses related to seeded vegetables, eggs, fruits, chicken, beef, sprouts and pork, while nearly 75 percent of Campylobacter illnesses were attributed to dairy. More than 80 percent of Lm illnesses were attributed to fruit and dairy. The report summarizes the methods IFSAC used to arrive at these results and explains the limitations and uncertainty in the outbreak data.

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