CDC reports decrease in foodborne infections in 2014
The report suggests that rates of infections caused by a serious strain of E. coli and a common Salmonella strain have decreased in 2014 compared to 2006-2008. In contrast, other types of Salmonella that is less common have increased in infection rates. Campylobacter and Vibrio also increased in 2014.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that changes in food safety practice are having an impact in decreasing E.coli and we know that without all the food safety work to fight Salmonella that more people would be getting sick with Salmonella than we are seeing now,,” Robert Tauxe, deputy director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, said. “The increasing use of whole genome sequencing to track foodborne illness cases will also help; however, much more needs to be done to protect people from foodborne illness.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza said he is encouraged by the reduction of STEC O157:H7 illnesses, which reflects a science-based approach to beef inspection, and that the USDA looks forward to further reductions in Salmonella and Campylobacter infections as improved standards for poultry take effect this year.
"Data sources like FoodNet allow us to be strategic in developing our food safety policies, and we will do everything within our power to keep reducing cases of foodborne illness from all meat and poultry products," Almanza said.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine Michael Taylor said illness prevention is the fundamental goal of new rules under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
“We have worked with a wide range of stakeholders to devise rules that will be effective for food safety and practical for the many diverse elements of our food system," Taylor said. "Once the rules are fully implemented, FoodNet will help us evaluate their impact.”