Top Bugs Causing Foodborne Illness

Once again, Campylobacter and Salmonella top the list of leading causes of reported foodborne illnesses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases of infection associated with Campylobacter totaled 8,547 last year, and 8,172 for Salmonella.

Trailing Campylobacter and Salmonella, the other leading causes of reported illnesses were Shigella at 2,913, E. coli (1,845), Cryptosporidium (1,816), Yersina (302), Vibrio (252) and Listeria (127). During the year there were 24,029 reported foodborne infections, with 5,512 resulting in hospitalization and 98 cases resulting in death.

The newly released data was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and sourced from the agency’s Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, also known as FoodNet. FoodNet is a collaboration among the CDC, 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the CDC, foodborne illness remains a substantial public health concern in the United States. Previous analyses have indicated that the number of infections far exceeds those diagnosed. Most foodborne infections can be prevented, and substantial progress has been made in the past in decreasing contamination of some foods and reducing illness caused by some pathogens.

Using cold pressure technology, also known as high pressure processing or HPP, is one such measure to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. By using pressure up to 87,000 pounds per square inch, potential pathogens are inactivated, but taste, texture and nutrition are kept intact.

Many companies are adopting HPP to balance the need to ensure food safety with consumer demand for products with cleaner labels.

“By investing in HPP technology we can provide a high degree of protection for these products without using additional preservatives – something we believe our consumers will appreciate,” said Michael Burrows, CEO of Maple Lodge Farms.

You can read the full CDC report here.