ATLANTA, April 15 (UPI) — Rates of illness associated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 declined in 2009, hitting the lowest level since 2004, U.S. health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, said the food safety study used data from the CDC’s Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, known as FoodNet, which tracks U.S. trends in foodborne illnesses.
The rates of most of the nine illnesses tracked through FoodNet in 2009 maintained the declines in food pathogens that began in 1996, but there has been little change since 2004, the report said.
“The interventions begun in the late 1990s were successful in decreasing some of these foodborne diseases, but we haven’t seen much recent progress,” Dr. Chris Braden, acting director of CDC’s division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, said in a statement. “To make additional strides against these diseases and ultimately better protect the American people from foodborne illness, CDC, our federal and state partners, and the food industry will need to try new strategies.”
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