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CDC Releases Updated FoodNet Data

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its yearly report examining foodborne illness trends, finding limited progress in reducing rates of foodborne illnesses since 2012. The most frequent causes of infection in 2015 were Salmonella and Campylobacter, which is consistent with previous years. The report found that Cryptosporidium infections increased 57 percent and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections increased 40 percent since 2012-2014, each likely due to increased testing. Meanwhile Salmonella Typhimurium infection, often linked to poultry and beef, decreased 15 percent over the same time period. CDC experts say this decline may be due in part to tighter regulatory standards and vaccination of chicken flocks against Salmonella.

The report also focused on challenges presented by culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) which help doctors diagnose infections quickly but do not grow a bacterial culture. The CDC says without a culture, public health officials are struggling to get detailed information about the bacteria needed to help find outbreaks, check for antibiotic resistance, and track foodborne disease trends. In 2015, the percentage of foodborne infections diagnosed only by CIDT was about double compared with the percentage in 2012-2014.

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