Although most foodborne illnesses are not part of a recognized outbreak, outbreaks provide important information on the germs, toxins, and chemicals that cause illness and the implicated foods.
Here are the main findings:
• Reported foodborne disease outbreaks resulted in 14,481 illnesses, 827 hospitalizations, 20 deaths, and recalls of 14 food products.
• Norovirus was the most frequently reported confirmed cause, with 140 outbreaks and 4,092 outbreak-associated illnesses.
• Salmonella was the second most common, with 113 outbreaks and 3,007 outbreak-associated illnesses.
• Restaurants were linked to outbreaks more often than any other place where food was prepared, as in previous reports. Restaurants were associated with 489 outbreaks, accounting for 64% of outbreaks that had a single location where food was prepared. Most of these restaurant outbreaks (366) occurred at establishments with sit-down dining.
• The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were:
o Turkey (609 illnesses)
o Fruits (521)
o Chicken (487)
o Pork (376)