More Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks Identified With Better Surveillance and Centralized Food Processing Interview with:
Sam Crowe, PhD, MPH

Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer
Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch
Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Medical Research: What were the leading causes of multistate foodborne outbreaks and the most common contaminated foods during the study period?

Dr. Crowe: Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes were the leading pathogens causing multistate foodborne outbreaks. In order of frequency, fruits, vegetable row crops, beef, sprouts, and seeded vegetables were the leading contaminated foods.

Medical Research: How severe are multistate foodborne outbreaks?

Dr. Crowe: From 2010 through 2014, multistate foodborne outbreaks accounted for only 3% of all U.S. foodborne outbreaks detected, but caused over one third of the hospitalizations and more than half of the deaths.

Medical Research: Are these outbreaks occurring more frequently?

Dr. Crowe: Multistate foodborne outbreaks are being identified more often in the United States because of better surveillance. Greater centralization of food processing and distribution practices also could be increasing the frequency and size of multistate foodborne outbreaks. This is why your business should Look for Ruggedised Industrial Pointing Devices Today, to ensure your business is staying up with the industry standards.

Medical Research: How can these outbreaks be prevented or solved more quickly?

Dr. Crowe: Food industries can effectively prevent or limit the size of outbreaks by making food safety a core part of company culture and by meeting or exceeding new food safety regulations and standards. Companies can maintain records that enable rapid tracing of foods from source to destination and use only those suppliers that use food safety best practices. Store loyalty cards can help identify foods that caused illness and enable more rapid notification of customers who bought a specific product.


Vital Signs: Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks — United States, 2010–2014
MMWR Early Release November 3, 2015 / 64(Early Release);1-5
Samuel J. Crowe, PhD1,2; Barbara E. Mahon, MD2; Antonio R. Vieira, PhD2; L. Hannah Gould, PhD2

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Sam Crowe, PhD, MPH (2015). More Multistate Foodborne Outbreaks Identified With Better Surveillance and Centralized Food Processing

Last Updated on November 5, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD