Tags: listeria | foodborne illness | CDC

No Progress Made Against Deadly Food Contaminant: CDC

Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 07:49 AM

One in five Americans sickened by listeria over a three-year period died, according to government data that highlight how little has been done to curtail the pathogen linked to tainted cheese and produce.
 
Listeria sickened 1,651 people from 2009-2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said in a report Tuesday. Twenty percent of those stricken died, primarily the elderly and prenatal babies who were stillborn or miscarried.
 
“No progress in reducing the overall incidence of listeriosis has occurred in over a decade,” the CDC said.“Renewed prevention efforts are needed from farm to table.”
 
The Obama administration proposed in January the first major regulations from the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, which was to be the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. food oversight in 70 years when it passed. The Food and Drug Administration is developing the rules aimed at keeping people safe from listeria.
 
“We are also working with produce growers, food processors, and our state partners to further implement what we know works to minimize food safety risks,” Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, said in a statement.
 
Congress passed the food safety law after poisonings related to cookie dough, spinach, jalapenos and other foods killed at least nine people and sickened more than 700 in 2008 and 2009.
 
For the three years studied by the CDC, 12 listeria outbreaks sickened 224 consumers in 38 states. Five outbreaks implicated soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk that were likely contaminated during cheese making. The overall CDC data also included a 2011 listeria outbreak where 146 people were sickened and at least 30 died from cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado. That outbreak was the deadliest in almost 90 years.
 
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the incidence of listeriosis declined markedly after investigations led to industry changes, such as using ingredients that inhibit listeria growth. The data today show that progress has stalled.

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One in five Americans sickened by listeria over a three-year period died, according to government data that highlight how little has been done to curtail the pathogen linked to tainted cheese and produce. Listeria sickened 1,651 people from 2009-2011, the Centers for...
listeria,foodborne illness,CDC
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2013-49-05
Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 07:49 AM
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