Foodborne Illness

Did You Know?


Did You Know? is a weekly feature from the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support to inform your prevention activities. We invite you to read, share, and take action!

View the Current Did You Know?

August 2, 2019
  • When two or more people get the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink, the event is called a foodborne disease outbreak—learn what outbreaks are currently affecting multiple states.
  • Local and state health departments, federal agencies, and the food industry are all key players in foodborne outbreak response, depending on the size and scope of the outbreak.
  • Health department staff and healthcare professionals can help prevent, report, and tell the public about foodborne disease outbreaks.
April 26, 2019
  • Campylobacter and Salmonella continue to be the most commonly reported foodborne bacteria, according to a new report from FoodNet—the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network.
  • Targeted interventions to reduce contamination throughout the food production chain can lead to fewer foodborne illnesses.
  • Health department laboratories can reduce foodborne illnesses by culturing specimens that have positive culture-independent diagnostic test results, providing critical information to detect outbreaks, inform treatment, and guide interventions.
September 21, 2018

March 11, 2016

November 6, 2015

July 17, 2015
  • State and local health departments reported 818 foodborne illness outbreaks in 2013 alone; these outbreaks led to 13,360 illnesses, 1,062 hospitalizations, and 16 deaths.
  • Consumers can help solve foodborne outbreaks; food receipts, labels, and shopper cards give investigators important clues about what made people sick.
  • Health professionals can use CDC’s step-by-step guide to investigate outbreaks, along with a toolkit and tip sheets for effective interviewing and laboratory practices.

July 2, 2015

May 15, 2015

June 6, 2014

May 30, 2014
  • Foodborne illness is a significant problem in the United States, but addressing environmental causes can help prevent it.
  • Each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.
  • You can take CDC’s free e-learning course on assessing environmental causes of foodborne illness outbreaks. States and localities can also register for CDC’s new surveillance system to collect data from environmental assessments.

June 7, 2013
  • Listeria is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning, and almost all cases are among pregnant women and their newborns, people with weakened immune systems, and adults aged 65 years or older.
  • Most people with Listeria infection require hospital care, and about 1 in 5 with the infection die.
  • Local, state, and territorial public health professionals are encouraged to complete the Listeria Initiative pdf icon[PDF-618KB] questionnaire for all cases of laboratory-confirmed listeriosis.

June 10, 2011

Did You Know?  information and web links are current as of their publication date. They may become outdated over time.

Page last reviewed: October 11, 2016