Based on numerous media interviews today, the take-home message will be, foodborne illness has declined by 23 per cent over 14 years.
Instead, what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has done is publish 18 papers today that provide a glimpse into the intricacies, problems and potential of foodborne illness surveillance. There are many caveats, there will be many criticisms, but the approach is consistent with a risk analysis approach to problems: this is what we know, these are the assumptions we made, this is what we think it means, let’s discuss how to make it better.
And bring evidence to the table.
The papers also highlight the complexities of food-pathogen interactions while reinforcing that food safety happens in lots of places in lots of ways, from farm-to-fork. The next time someone says food safety is simple, roll your eyes, walk away, respond with derision, whatever your preference.
But bring some data to the table. This issue of Clinical Infectious Disease will help with that.
Below are the urls for the 18 abstracts: