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New CDC Data on Foodborne Disease Outbreaks

“Outbreaks provide important insights into how germs spread, which food and germ combinations cause illnesses, and how to prevent infections. Public health and industry use outbreak data to create information on prevention, education, and policy. CDC has a long history of summarizing outbreak reports from local and state health departments. CDC collects outbreak data and makes it available to the public. Tracking and reporting outbreak data is the first step towards prevention. Highlights of New Reports: CDC published two new reports for 2011 and 2012. The data from these reports help show the human impact of foodborne disease outbreaks.

Number and Causes of Outbreaks

  • 1,632 foodborne disease outbreaks, 29,112 illnesses, 1,750 hospitalizations, and 68 deaths
  • 793 outbreaks caused by a single, confirmed pathogen
  • Most common causes of outbreaks:
    • Norovirus: 41% of reported outbreaks
    • Salmonella: 25% of reported outbreaks”

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