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on June 29, 2010

US journal compares food-borne pathogen goals with stats

Healthy People 2010 program helps lower E. coli infections by 40%

The June 15 edition of the Journal of the American of Veterinary Medical Association cites the Centers for Disease Control’s April 16 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the latest incidence rates for food-borne diseases. Data assembled by the Food-borne Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) documents the incidence rates of specified diseases among a population of 46.4 million within the participating states in the CDC Emerging Infections Program.

The incidence rate for salmonella infection was 15.2 confirmed infections per 100,000 people compared to the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 program goal of 6.8/100,000. There were 13.0/100,000 campylobacter infections against the 12.3/100,000 goal and 0.34/100,000 listeria infections against the 0.24/100,000 goal. Infection with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157 infection attained 0.99/100,000 infections representing a 40% reduction over previous years.

New sources of salmonella infection unrelated to food are emerging such as contact with pet amphibians and reptiles. Food-borne outbreaks have been recently recorded associated with consumption of raw cookie dough, jalapeno peppers and contaminated peanut butter.

Reduced funding for public health has resulted in the loss of 23,000 positions among local public health departments over a two-year period. This represents a 15% reduction in personnel assigned to routine health inspections and investigation of disease outbreaks.

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