It's amazing to me that people think that big business can actually get rid of the foodborne illnesses that they create by having more regulations, injecting more antibiotics and so on. Seems to me we didnt have these problems back in my Great-grandparents day when most of the food was raised by small farmers. Maybe the government will have it's duh moment soon. I had to add the regulation about the shell-egg cause I wasnt really sure what it was. Let's dip all those eggs in chlorine people and make sure all the natural coating put on them by the chickens is off. That's why you have to keep store eggs refrigerated by the way, no natural coating - eggs rot. Get rid of big business in foods and you will see a decline in e-coli and other foodborne illnesses and that's all I have to say about that :) - Denise
In U.S., Salmonella Is on the Rise While E. Coli Retreats
CDC says salmonella now causes majority of hospitalizations linked to foodborne illness.
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News
TUESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) — As a deadly new strain of E. coli in Europe makes headlines, U.S. health officials announced Tuesday that salmonella, not E. coli, remains the biggest foodborne health threat to Americans.
In fact, while rates of several types of foodborne illness — including E. coli — have been falling over the past 15 years, there's been no progress against salmonella infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While infections from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 (the strain of most concern in the United States) have dropped almost in half and the rates of six other foodborne infections have been cut 23 percent, salmonella infections have risen 10 percent, the agency said.
"There are about 50 million people each year who become sick from food in the U.S. That's about one in six Americans," CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said during a noon press conference Tuesday.
In addition, about 128,000 people are hospitalized and about 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses each year, he added.
"We need to do more, because foodborne illnesses are too common," Frieden said.
The CDC's report on foodborne illness is timely in light of the deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany, which has already sickened more than 2,200 and caused 22 deaths. The E. coli found in Germany is a cousin to E. coli O157 found in the United States. Both produce the Shiga toxin that can cause kidney failure and death.
This new report from the CDC includes data from the 2010 CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, called FoodNet, which collects data on laboratory confirmed cases of foodborne illness.
In 2010, there were 20,000 illnesses, 4,200 hospitalizations and 68 deaths from nine types of foodborne infections, reported via FoodNet.
Of those, salmonella accounted for 8,200 infections, including 2,300 hospitalizations and 29 deaths. That's 54 percent of all hospitalizations and 43 percent of the deaths reported through FoodNet, according to the CDC.
And that's likely just the tip of the iceberg, because for every laboratory-confirmed case of salmonella there are at least 29 unreported cases, the agency says.
Speaking at the press conference, Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said that "by implementing the new Shell-Egg Safety Rule, we expect the rule to reduce the number of salmonella infections for eggs by nearly 60 percent."
However, at its best, that would still only translate to a reduction of about 10 percent of all salmonella cases, Frieden noted.
On the positive side, the rate of E. coli O157 cases, which can be a deadly infection have been cut in half over the past 15 years. This strain, affected two in every 100,000 people in 1997, had dropped to 0.9 cases per 100,000 by 2010, the CDC noted.
This reduction in infections from E. coli O157 is largely due to to better detection and investigation of outbreaks, cleaner slaughterhouse methods, better testing of ground beef for E. coli, improved inspections of ground beef processing plants, regulations prohibiting E. coli O157 in ground beef and increased awareness of the importance of properly cooking beef, the agency said.
Other foodborne illnesses that fell in incidence over the same time period include those caused by the campylobacter, listeria, vibrio and yersinia pathogens.
To reduce their risk of foodborne illness, people should assume that raw chicken and other meat have bacteria that can make you sick. In the kitchen, raw meats should not allow to contaminate counter tops or cutting boards and should be kept away from other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, the CDC advises.
In addition, while washing fruits and vegetables is important, meat and poultry should never be washed, Also, meat, poultry, eggs and shellfish should be cooked thoroughly. And, one should not drink unpasteurized milk and juice and not eat unpasteurized soft cheese, the CDC says.
Commenting on the CDC report, infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University in New York City, said that "although there has been some progress, foodborne illness is still a major problem."
These infections often spring from livestock, Siegel said, "and we create the problem by the way the animals are bred and fed," he said. "We generate the salmonella problem with the way we raise chickens."
"They are compressed in cages standing in their own poop," Siegel said. "They are raised in squalid conditions that breeds salmonella."
The only way to effectively decrease salmonella infection is to vaccinate chickens against the bacteria and pasteurize eggs, he said.
In addition, cattle are fed grain, which breeds bacteria such as E. coli, he added. On top of that, livestock are often given vast amounts of antibiotics, which can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, he said.
Siegel noted that bacterial contamination of produce usually comes from animal waste, which then contaminates water used to irrigate fruits and vegetables.
"It's easy to teach people how to barbecue properly, but how about getting the bugs out of the meat in the first place?" he said.
Until food production practices are improved there will be more outbreaks of foodborne illness, Siegel said. "Outbreaks are inevitable," he said.
FDA Improves Egg Safety
Content provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a regulation to help make eggs safer to eat.
The regulation will reduce the number of illnesses caused by eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (SE).
The regulation, released to the public on July 7, 2009, requires the egg industry to take specific preventive measures to keep eggs safe during their production, storage and transport. Egg producers will also be required to register with FDA and to maintain a prevention plan and records to show they are following the regulation.
FDA took this action because SE is a major cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Eating raw or undercooked eggs is an important source of SE infections in people. FDA estimates that 142,000 illnesses each year are caused by consuming eggs contaminated with SE.
FDA first proposed the regulation on September 22, 2004. The agency has held three public meetings and opened two comment periods to ensure public participation in the rule-making process.
About Salmonella Enteritidis (SE)
SE infections can be very serious, even life-threatening, especially to the very young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Infected people may experience
Some infected people may suffer from severe illness, arthritis, or even death.
Eggs can become contaminated on the farm because a laying hen can become infected with SE and pass the bacteria into the egg before it is laid. If the egg is not refrigerated, the bacteria can grow inside the uncracked, whole egg.
FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture carried out a series of egg safety efforts during the 1990s. These efforts focused on refrigeration to limit the growth of bacteria that may be inside an egg. Although these efforts made it harder for the bacteria to grow, they did not prevent the eggs from becoming contaminated initially on the farm. Through the measures spelled out in the new regulation, which address controlling the bacteria on the farm, SE will be reduced in the poultry house and consequently in the eggs themselves.
How Consumers Are Affected
The regulation means that eggs will be safer for people to eat.
The regulation will reduce the risk that eggs from an estimated 3,300 farms that produce most of the U.S. egg supply will be contaminated with SE. As a result, an estimated 79,000 illnesses and 30 deaths will be avoided each year—that’s a reduction of nearly 60 percent in egg-related illnesses from SE.
In addition to the new safety measures being taken by industry, consumers can reduce their risk of foodborne illness by following a few simple steps:
Only buy eggs if they are sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
Refrigerate the eggs promptly after purchase.
Cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.