New Report Provides a Decade of Analysis of Foodborne Illnesses

Clinical Infectious Diseases is publishing a supplement, FoodNet in 2012 A Foundation for Food Safety in the United States. The supplement includes new data from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), which tracks important foodborne illnesses trends and provides information used to assess the impact of food safety initiatives on the burden of foodborne illness.

The supplement is published online in the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal at

FoodNet is a collaborative program among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FoodNet collects data from 10 U.S. sites regarding diseases caused by enteric pathogens transmitted commonly through food. FoodNet quantifies and monitors the incidence of these infections by conducting active, population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed illnesses.

Some of the studies in the supplement report that:

- The overall frequency of illnesses caused by the seven most common foodborne diseases (Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157, Yersinia and Vibrio) was 23 percent lower in 2010 than in 1996-1998. However, a comparison of 2006-2008 to 2010 indicates that progress has slowed recently.

- Salmonella Enteritidis infections are a growing problem in the United States; chicken and eggs are likely major sources.

- Fourteen percent of the illnesses caused by the seven most common foodborne diseases are attributable to contact with animals.