Data released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US show progress was made in reducing some foodborne infections in 2014.
The CDC’s FoodNet data showed significant declines in Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157 and Salmonella Typhimurium. However, some other less common types of Salmonella increased. Campylobacter and Vibrio rose again in 2014, continuing the increase observed during the past few years, the data showed.
“The CDC data is another strong indication that industry and government efforts are working to reduce foodborne illnesses from major pathogens of concern which is consistent with major declines in pathogen rates we’ve seen on meat and poultry products in recent years,” said Betsy Booren, NAMI vice president of scientific affairs. “We’re committed to working with the government to continue these improvements and seek out ways to lower foodborne illnesses across all foods.”
Recent reductions in pathogen rates on meat and poultry products include a 93% reduction of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef since 2000, significant reductions in Salmonella across a majority of meat and poultry products and a greater than 80% reduction in Listeria monocytogenes in ready-eat-meat products. In fact, there has not been a federal recall related to listeriosis associated with meat and poultry products in more than a decade.
The NAMI Foundation has been one of the leaders in funding research to reduce foodborne illnesses in the meat and poultry industry. The Foundation’s Food Safety Initiative goal is to reduce and ultimately eradicate Listeria monocytogenes on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in fresh beef, and Salmonella in meat and poultry products. Since the Initiative was launched in 1999, the NAMI Foundation has funded nearly nine million dollars in food safety research projects aimed at identifying practical food safety strategies.
“The efforts of industry and government together have yielded real and measurable benefits for America’s public health,” Dr Booren said. “We can continue to improve with further research into the relationships between pathogen reductions and foodborne illness rates to determine the true risks from foods.”