Analysing temporal patterns in foodborne illness is important to designing and implementing effective food safety measures. The reported incidence of illness due to Salmonella in the USA. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites has exhibited no declining trend since 1996; however, there have been significant annual trends among principal Salmonella serotypes, which may exhibit complex seasonal patterns. Data from the original FoodNet sites and penalised cubic B-spline regression are used to estimate temporal patterns in the reported incidence of illness for the top three Salmonella serotypes during 1996–2014. Our results include 95% confidence bands around the estimated annual and monthly curves for each serotype. The results show that Salmonella serotype Typhimurium exhibits a statistically significant declining annual trend and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by peaks in late summer and early winter. Serotype Enteritidis exhibits a significant annual trend with a higher incidence in later years and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer. Serotype Newport exhibits no significant annual trend with significant seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer.