Without Fanfare, CDC Reports Sharp Decline in Foodborne Illnesses
Wouldn’t you think that a one-third decline in reported foodborne illnesses would be a cause of celebration at the agency responsible for educating us about unsafe food? Well, if not a celebration, at least a slight smile, a teeny bit of self congratulation, maybe a soft exhale? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control just reported such an occurrence, but buried the encouraging trend in a brief footnote that seems to have escaped media and professional notice. Here is what happened. Last Friday, the CDC reported its “Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks–United States 2009-2010.” This report, collecting “data on foodborne disease outbreaks submitted by all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico through CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System,” is something the CDC has in the past issued on an annual basis, typically three years behind real time. So, the most recent previous report, issued in September 2011, was for the year 2008.
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