Foodborne Illness

Have you started your Christmas and/or holiday shopping? If you're like us, you're putting it off to the last minute – because you're too busy with other things. Here at ACSH, we've been busy telling the world about science. Here's where we've appeared recently.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million Americans get sick with a foodborne illness every year. How can this massive number be greatly reduced? By irradiating our food.
Every single day, you take several IQ tests. You just aren't aware of them. Did you look both ways before crossing the street? Did you get a flu shot? Did you buy that $4 organic banana? These are all IQ tests, and the result is either pass/fail. Occasionally, flunking one of these daily IQ tests has very real consequences. The CDC reports that, in August 2016, at least 17 people in Colorado flunked an IQ test when they consumed raw milk and became sick. Milk samples and patient samples both tested positive for antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter jejuni, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Foodborne illness happens; it's one of the hazards of eating. But when a company makes a concerted effort to claim its food is holy and righteous – while everybody else serves poison – management shouldn't be surprised when public backlash is severe. It's entirely predictable, self-inflicted and deserved.  
In a fundraiser turned deadly, the folks of Columbia, Louisiana received a lot more than they signed up for.  The likely culprit was determined to be Salmonella contamination of Jambalaya.
Although threats from Mexican drug cartels cannot be dismissed out of hand, apparently another Mexican import cilantro (also known as coriander or Chinese parsley) has sickened hundreds of Americans in the past couple of years.
Some 30 to 40 percent of purchased foods are simply discarded by Americans.
A new report from the CDC s FoodNet surveillance system presents data about the frequency of foodborne illnesses in 2014, and compares it to those frequencies it found in 2006-2008.
We ve been hearing warnings about the possibility of getting ill from contaminated meat and poultry for years. This could lead one to suspect that these foods are responsible for most of the cases of foodborne illness in the US. But that suspicion would be wrong,
FDA is now using cutting edge biotechnology whole genome sequencing to help identify the sources of foodborne illness outbreaks. This technique involves identifying the precise sequence of DNA constituents in a bacterial sample taken from people with an illness, and compares it to samples taken from suspected foods.
Over the past few decades Americans have been subjected to numerous outbreaks of food-borne illness from bacterial contamination. One of the most problematic causes has been E. coli O157:H7, which produces a potent toxin that can severely damage kidneys and cause death.