|Issue of the Day: Food Borne Diseases|
Published Monday, September 29th, 2008
In the news, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a warning concerning uncooked chicken entrees that, if not cooked correctly, harbor Salmonella. This warning came after 32 people in 12 states got food poisoning. There is more than one Salmonella strain, such as Salmonella Saintpaul (outbreak Aug 2008), Agona (May 2008), Litchfield (March 2008), Schwarzengrund (Aug 2007), and Wandsworth (July 2007). According to the CDC, a strain has been found recently in peppers from Mexico, which sickened 1442 people in 43 states, Washington D.C., and Canada. Also, the pet industry saw a possible salmonella outbreak in Mars Petcare, in which it issued a volunteer recall.
Over the last 8 years, the rate of food borne illnesses has remained steady except for the brief rise in Salmonella in 2003 to 2005. According to the CDC, “an estimated 76 million cases of food borne disease occur each year in the United States. The great majority of these cases is mild and cause symptoms for only a day or two. Some cases are more serious, and CDC estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to food borne diseases each year.”