Not much of a surprise to those who follow my blog. Looks like biggest culprits are Chicken and Leafy Greens.
The CDC reported today that the incidence of three major foodborne pathogens Campylobacter, Salmonella Enteritidis and STEC E. coli has increased in 2018.
The Bug – Campylobacter: Campylobacter continues to be the most commonly identified infection in FoodNet since 2013.
What is the Government and Industry doing about it: Poultry is a major source of Campylobacter. In August 2018, FSIS began using a new testing method; in a study of that method, Campylobacter was isolated from 18% of chicken carcasses and 16% of chicken parts sampled. FSIS currently makes aggregated test results available and intends to update performance standards for Campylobacter contamination.
The Bug – Salmonella: The incidence of infections with Salmonella Enteritidis has not declined in over 10 years.
What is the Government and Industry doing about it: Salmonella Enteritidis is adapted to live in poultry, and eggs are an important source of infections. By 2012, FDA had implemented the Egg Safety Rule, which requires preventive measures during the production of eggs in poultry houses and requires subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation, for all farms with ≥3,000 hens. In December 2018, FSIS reported that 22% of establishments that produce chicken parts failed to meet the Salmonella performance standard. The percentage of samples of chicken meat and intestinal contents that yielded Enteritidis were similar in 2018 to those during 2015–2017.
The Bug – E. coli: STEC E. coli has increased in 2018.
What is the Government and Industry doing about it: Produce is a major source of foodborne illnesses. During 2018, romaine lettuce was linked to two multistate outbreaks of STEC O157 infections. FDA is implementing the Produce Safety Rule, with routine inspections of large produce farms planned this spring. Because produce is a major component of a healthy diet and is often consumed raw, making it safer is important for improving human health.
An accomplished attorney and national expert in food safety, William (Bill) Marler has become the most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the U.S. and around the world. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death.
Bill began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company. The 2011 book, Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat, by best-selling author Jeff Benedict, chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and the rise of Bill Marler as a food safety attorney.
For the last 20 years, Bill has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, filing lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, Chili’s, Chi-Chi’s, Chipotle, ConAgra, Dole, Excel, Golden Corral, KFC, McDonald’s, Odwalla, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Sizzler, Supervalu, Taco Bell and Wendy’s. Through his work, he has secured over $650,000,000 for victims of E. coli, Salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses.
Among the most notable cases he has litigated, Bill counts those of nineteen-year-old dancer Stephanie Smith, who was sickened by an E. coli-contaminated hamburger that left her brain damaged and paralyzed, and Linda Rivera, a fifty-seven-year-old mother of six from Nevada, who was hospitalized for over 2 years after she was stricken with what her doctor described as “the most severe multi-organ [bowel, kidney, brain, lung, gall bladder, and pancreas] case of E. coli mediated HUS I have seen in my extensive experience.”
New York Times reporter Michael Moss won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Smith’s case, which was settled by Cargill in 2010 for an amount “to care for her throughout her life.” Linda’s story hit the front page of the Washington Post and became Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s touchstone for successfully moving forward the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2010.