Food Safety Updates From CDC

Published December 20, 2022

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pitcher and glass of raw milk

New Study: Laws That Increase the Availability of Raw Milk Are Linked to More Illnesses

A new article from CDC, “Foodborne illness outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk and relationship to changes in state laws—United States, 1998–2018,” reports the number of outbreaks and outbreak-associated illnesses linked to unpasteurized (raw) milk over time. The article also compares those numbers in states where the sale of raw milk is legal to states where it is prohibited.

The study found that the number of outbreaks linked to raw milk has increased over time. From 1998 through 2018, 202 outbreaks and 2,645 outbreak-associated illnesses occurred because of drinking raw milk. Areas where raw milk was legally sold had 3.2 times more outbreaks than areas where the sale of raw milk was illegal. Areas where raw milk was allowed to be sold in retail stores had 3.6 times more outbreaks than areas where sale was allowed only on farms. The study shows that laws that increase the availability of raw milk are associated with more illnesses and outbreaks. For more information about pasteurization and the health impacts of raw milk, visit CDC’s raw milk website.

Screenshot from 2022 holiday food safety video

New Holiday Food Safety Video

This holiday season, watch and share our newly updated video about keeping you and your family safe from food poisoning. Always make sure to cook your holiday dishes to a safe internal temperature to kill germs, and refrigerate all leftovers promptly. Perishable foods should be refrigerated within 2 hours of being cooked or within 1 hour if the food is exposed to outdoor temperatures above 90°F. See the video and read our holiday food safety feature to learn more.

Inspection grade A

Learn How Restaurant Inspection Practices Are Linked With Fewer Outbreaks

Two new studies found that posting health department inspection scores at restaurants and using letter grades for restaurant inspection results are linked with fewer foodborne outbreaks and could lead to safer restaurants. Read a summary of the articles.

Explore other study findings about restaurant food safety, along with tools to improve foodborne outbreak investigations. Additional resources are available for environmental health professionals from CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

beef roast with potatoes and carrots on a platter

Today’s Food Safety Tip

Clostridium perfringens bacteria are one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Most C. perfringens outbreaks happen during November and December and are often linked to popular holiday foods, such as turkey and roast beef. They tend to happen in settings where large groups of people are served and keeping food at proper temperatures may be difficult.

To help prevent food poisoning from C. perfringens, cook food to a safe temperature and use a food thermometer to check. Always keep cooked food hot before serving (at 140°F or hotter) or refrigerate it (at 40°F or colder) if you do not plan to serve and eat it soon. Get more information.