Foodborne Illnesses are on the Rise. Here’s Why (And What We Can Do About It)
2018 was a record year for major identified outbreaks of food poisoning, and early 2019 shows a similar trend. What is causing this spike, and how can companies take better precautions?
In the infographic below, we’ll cover the innovations in food safety technology that are playing an integral role in identifying outbreaks and ensuring food safety and sanitation.
The Current State of Food Safety
The CDC reports that the incidence of most food borne illnesses increased in 2018.
- 25,606 infections
- 5,893 hospitalizations
- 120 deaths
- 21 major outbreaks
E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter made the news for being large-scale outbreaks last year. Additionally, less common pathogens like Cyclospora and Vibrio saw significant increases in identified incidence.
What the Rise in Outbreaks Means
An increase in identified outbreaks may simply mean that technology and epidemiologists have gotten better at identifying the primary sources.
The statistics around foodborne illnesses certainly back this fact up: 80% of these illnesses cannot be currently linked with an identified outbreak. It isn’t a stretch to think perhaps we hear about them more because officials are getting better at identifying them.
The Need for Better Food Safety Technology
When it comes to food safety, shared responsibility between food industries and government regulators benefits consumers and food companies alike.
Prevention measures include:
- Quality assurance programs
- Safe farming practices
- Inspection systems
- Rigorous systems
At the first line of defense, though, are food safety and sanitation practices, and the technologies that allow for them.