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Outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States, 1998–2015

  • J. L. SELF (a1) (a2), R. E. LUNA-GIERKE (a2), A. FOTHERGILL (a3), K. G. HOLT (a4) and A. R. VIEIRA (a2)...

Summary

Each year in the United States, an estimated 525 000 infections, 2900 hospitalizations, and 82 deaths are attributed to consumption of pork. We analyzed the epidemiology of outbreaks attributed to pork in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1998–2015. During that period, 288 outbreaks were attributed to pork, resulting in 6372 illnesses, 443 hospitalizations, and four deaths. The frequency of outbreaks attributed to pork decreased by 37% during this period, consistent with a decline in total foodborne outbreaks. However, outbreaks attributed to pork increased by 73% in 2015 (19 outbreaks) compared with the previous 3 years (average of 11 outbreaks per year), without a similar increase in total foodborne outbreaks. Most (>99%) of these outbreaks occurred among people exposed in the same state. The most frequent etiology shifted from Staphylococcus aureus toxin during 1998–2001 (19%) to Salmonella during 2012–2015 (46%). Outbreaks associated with ham decreased from eight outbreaks per year during 1998–2001, to one per year during 2012–2015 (P < 0·01). Additional efforts are necessary to reduce outbreaks and sporadic illnesses associated with pork products.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr J. L. Self, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-A38, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. (Email: yxj9@cdc.gov)

References

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