The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its long-awaited 2008 surveillance for foodborne disease outbreak data. Public health officials from 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported 1,034 outbreaks in total. The number of outbreaks declined 10 percent from the previous year. Of this total, six percent resulted in hospitalizations, withSalmonellacausing 62 percent of hospitalizations.

According to the report, norovirus remained the leading cause of outbreaks and illnesses in 2008. Most norovirus outbreaks with an implicated food vehicle were attributed to foods from more than one commodity. In norovirus outbreaks caused by a single food commodity, produce commodities that typically are not cooked continue to be the leading commodities implicated.

Among the 868 outbreaks with a known single setting where food was consumed, CDC reported that 52 percent were linked to a food consumed in a restaurant or deli, 15 percent to food consumed in a private home and the remainder other locations. Food attribution remains a challenge, with a food vehicle reported for only 47 percent of outbreaks.

To view the report, go to


Source: American Meat Institute