2011 was a busy year. Now, with Christmas and the New Year approaching, the CDC has issued its 2011 foodborne illness estimates. According to the data, 9.4 million individuals became ill with an identifiable pathogen while 38.4 million were sickened by an unspecified organism. The top five pathogens for 2011 were Norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus aureus. Norovirus accounted for over 5 million illnesses while Salmonella, nontyphoid form accounted for 1,027, 5 61 estimated illnesses.
In terms of hospitalization, the top five, in order of illness counts included Salmonella, Norovirus, Campylobacter, Toxoplasma gondii, followed by an estimated 2000 shiga-toxin producing E. coli illness related hospitalizations. Top five fatality causing pathogens were Salmonella, Toxoplasma gondii, Listeria monocytogenes, followed by Norovirus and Campylobacter. The CDC estimates that 48 million individuals are sickened by a foodborne illness annually. That is 1 in 6 individuals.
During 2011 there were 16 multistate foodborne illness outbreaks. These included recalls for ground beef, romaine lettuce, kosher broiled chicken livers, turkish pine nuts, cantaloupes, ground turkey, papayas, sprouts, turkey burgers, lebanon bologna, and hazelnuts. Warnings were also issued regarding African dwarf frogs as well as chicks and ducklings and potential Salmonella contamination and E. coli O104 in Germany. Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease control and Prevention website as well as the Food and Drug Administration Recall website and that of Food Safety Inspection Service.