Did You Know? is a weekly feature from the Office 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?
March 11, 2016
- Infected food workers cause about 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food, often by touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands.
- As of September 2014, 16 states and the District of Columbia had adopted four key Food Code provisions to prevent norovirus and other foodborne illnesses in restaurants and retail food settings.
- You can check your state’s status on Food Code provisions and other food safety measures in CDC’s Prevention Status Reports and explore CDC food safety resources.
November 6, 2015
- According to the latest Vital Signs, there were an average of 24 multistate foodborne illness outbreaks a year during 2010–2014, causing illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths.
- Foodborne outbreak investigations should include using standard questions [PDF-549KB] to interview sick people about what they ate, and testing the germs to learn whether others were sickened from the same germ.
- Government and food industries can jointly develop and implement effective ways to identify and trace contaminated foods linked to outbreaks.
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
- At least 1,788 people got sick from contaminated pool, hot tub, lake, and ocean water in 90 separate outbreaks across 32 states and Puerto Rico over a two-year period.
- Cryptosporidium a diarrhea-causing parasite that is hard to kill with chlorine caused about half of these illnesses.
- Health professionals, aquatics staff, and swimmers can take easy and effective steps to help keep germs out of pools and hot tubs.
May 15, 2015
- You can get norovirus—a very contagious stomach bug—by swimming in water contaminated with poop or vomit.
- Recreational water illnesses, like those caused by norovirus, spread when an infected swimmer poops or vomits in the water and other swimmers swallow it.
- You can protect others from recreational water illnesses by getting the word out and sharing helpful CDC materials, including infographics, fact sheets, and posters.
June 6, 2014
- According to the new CDC Vital Signs report, infected food workers cause about 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food, often by touching ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands.
- Norovirus is the leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States. Outbreaks are most common in food service settings, such as restaurants.
- Health departments can help by adopting and enforcing FDA model Food Code provisions and more thoroughly investigating and reporting norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food.
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-618KB] questionnaire for all cases of laboratory-confirmed listeriosis.
June 10, 2011
- Salmonella infection causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of germ found in food.
- The United States has seen a nearly 50% reduction in a serious food-borne illness caused by E. coli O157 in the last 15 years, although Salmonella infections remain steady.
- Health departments are the front line in foodborne outbreak investigations, but everyone has a critical role to play—from the farm to the table—to make our food safer to eat.
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
- Page last updated: October 11, 2016
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