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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Foodborne Illness Increases in 2018

Apr 29 2019

Food safety is crucially important to foodservice professionals. Each step of the supply chain from plant to plate provides an opportunity for foods to become inflicted with bacteria and illness. In the rapidly growing world of e-commerce in the food industry and online food sales, food safety will be vital for food operators and all foodservice professionals.

New research issued from a report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has discovered that foodborne illness increased in 2018. FoodNet (The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network) conducts research for CDC and found 25, 606 infections, 5,893 hospitalizations, and 120 deaths were caused by foodborne illness in 2018.

While several E. coli breakouts have dominated recent headlines, there are many other diseases and bacteria that foodservice professionals must watch for. Several of these illnesses experienced dramatic increases in 2018 when compared to 2015-2017:

  • Cyclospora (399%)
  • Vibrio (109%)
  • Yersinia (58%)
  • STEC (26%)
  • Campylobacter (12%)
  • Salmonella (9%)

According to FoodNet, campylobacter has been the highest reported infection since 2013. The report states that produce is a significant source of foodborne illness. Produce has been linked to the recent outbreaks of E. coli and other illness due to its quick perishability and necessary refrigeration.

The CDC report suggests that more preventative measures must be taken for produce, meat, and dairy products. It is important that foodservice professionals at all levels of the supply chain are aware of this development. The number one priority while transporting and handling food must be safety. Raising awareness of the importance of food safety, in addition to adding more preventative measures, is the best action plan for foodservice professionals to lower the amount of foodborne illness in 2019.

For more detailed information on the CDC report, please visit Food Safety Magazine.