The CDC says efforts to cut back illnesses from foodborne pathogens like salmonella, E. coli, listeria and others have fallen flat in recent years, with little progress to report in the disease battle.
The annual report based on CDC’s representative “Food Net” states "showed a lack of recent progress in reducing foodborne infections and highlight the need for improved prevention," the new report says. The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of listeria, salmonella, the form of E. coli that produces Shiga toxin, and yersinia infections “did not change significantly” in 2012 from the report covering 2006 to 2008.
Campylobacter, often present alongside salmonella bacteria on raw chicken and turkey products, caused 14 percent more confirmed cases in 2012 than the earlier period. That’s a worrisome trend, as campylobacter is the second largest category of food infection the CDC tracks, and industry has so far resisted consumer groups’ efforts to demand that all raw chicken be sold free of the bacteria. Current rules allow a certain percentage of raw poultry to test positive for the bacteria, and consumers are instructed to “cook out” the pathogens with proper heating techniques.