Two papers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of foodborne pathogen illnesses is down to 9.4 million annually, as opposed to 14 million illnesses recorded in 1999. Hospitalizations and deaths are also down, to 55,961 hospitalizations and 1,351 deaths per year from 1999's 60,000 hospitalizations and 1,800 deaths. "The new data tell us that our food safety strategies have been working and we need to sustain our research efforts," said American Meat Institute President James H. Hodges. "Even one foodborne illness linked to meat and poultry products is cause for concern and we will not be satisfied until our food supply is even safer."


By far, the pathogen that causes the most illnesses is noro-virus (58%). Beyond that, nontyphoidal Salmonella spp (11%), C. perfringens (10%) and Campylobacter (9%) are all top causes of pathogen-related illness. Nontyphoidal Salmonella spp is still the leading cause of death by pathogen (28%).