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Foodborne Illness

The US food supply is among the safest in the world, but organisms that you can’t see, smell, or taste - bacteria, viruses, and tiny parasites - are everywhere in the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in this country can be traced to foodborne pathogens.

Foodborne illness costs Americans billions of dollars each year, and serves as a constant challenge for consumers, researchers, government and industry.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that two to three percent of all foodborne illnesses lead to serious secondary long-term illnesses. For example, certain strains of E.coli can cause kidney failure in young children and infants; Salmonella can lead to reactive arthritis and serious infections; Listeria can cause meningitis and stillbirths; and Campylobacter may be the most common precipitating factor for a debilitating disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome.

For more information on foodborne illness, visit the CDC website.
 

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