Increased Disease Outbreaks Linked With Imported Foods!

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Food borne disease The more number of processes your food passes through before it reaches you, the greater are the chances for contamination. So it is not astonishing to know that the new research findings of the ‘U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ (CDC) states that foodborne disease outbreaks are linked to imported foods and was on the rise from 2009 to 2010.


 


 


 


 


 



What The Study Revealed?


According to the findings which were presented by the researchers at the ‘International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases’, Atlanta(14 March 2012), the most familiar imported foods which has close association with disease epidemics were spices and fish.


 


One of the member of the research team, Dr. Hannah Gould and his colleagues analyzed the outbreaks which was reported to the CDC's ‘Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System’ and found that nearly 39 epidemics and 2,348 diseases which were brought to the notice of the Surveillance System(2005-2010) were linked to foods which were imported from 15 different countries, where almost half of the outbreaks (17) occurred between 2009 and 2010.


 


Fish was found to be the primary source (17 epidemics) and the secondary source was found to be spices (6 outbreaks, among which 5 were linked to fresh/dried peppers). Around 45% of the food sources associated with the outbreaks were originally from Asia.


 


According to CDC's release on the review, it was noted that the findings were likely to underestimate the exact figure of outbreaks due to imported foods, as the origin of many foods causing outbreaks is either not known or not reported.


 


What Next?


Food safety experts and public health officials are currently working on improving food attribution data so that it would be easy to understand which foods are at high risk for spoilage, where contamination occurs in the supply chain, and in what way it can be prevented.


 


But it is the duty of all of us as consumers, to learn about the safety level and origins of the foods bought,  thereby preventing  the occurrence of disease outbreaks.


 


Image Credit: home.comcast.net


 

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