MMWR News Synopsis for April 20, 2017

Incidence and Trends of Infections with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food and the Effect of Increasing Use of Culture-Independent Diagnostic Tests on Surveillance — Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2013–2016

CDC Media Relations

The FoodNet report, which summarizes preliminary 2016 data, provides a snapshot of foodborne illnesses in the United States. Among the nine infections that FoodNet tracks, Campylobacter and Salmonella caused the most reported illnesses in 2016. This is the first time the report also includes in the total number of infections those foodborne bacterial infections diagnosed only by rapid diagnostic tests at FoodNet sites. Previously, the report counted foodborne bacterial infections confirmed only by traditional culture-based methods in the total numbers. Rapid tests can have immediate benefits for treatment, but pose challenges to monitoring foodborne illness trends.

Restaurant Food Allergy Practices — Six Selected Sites, United States, 2014

CDC Media Relations

While most restaurants have ingredient lists available, many restaurants do not take other steps to reduce the risk of food allergic reactions. CDC recommends that restaurants:

  • Provide food allergy training for staff.
  • Use dedicated equipment and areas for preparing and cooking meals for customers with food allergies. When this is not feasible, restaurants can clean equipment and workspaces before preparing meals for customers with allergies according to the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code guidance.
  • Have ingredient lists or recipes for menu items available if they aren’t already.

A new CDC study examined the steps restaurants take to reduce the risk of allergic customers having a food allergy reaction. About 15 million Americans have a food allergy, and food allergies are a growing public health issue. Because 1 in 3 people with food allergies have had a reaction in a restaurant, CDC’s study sought to understand how restaurants address reducing the risk of food allergic reactions in restaurants.

Notes from the Field:

  • Powassan Virus Disease in an Infant — Connecticut, 2016
  • Varicella Fatality on a Cargo Vessel — Puerto Rico, 2015

Quick Stats:

  • Number of Deaths from 10 Leading Causes, by Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2015




CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety, and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, stem from human error or deliberate attack, CDC is committed to respond to America’s most pressing health challenges.

Page last reviewed: April 20, 2017