WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 - Multistate outbreaks account for more than half of the deaths from foodborne illnesses though they account for just 3 percent of the total outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Millions of U.S. residents become ill from foodborne pathogens each year and most foodborne outbreaks occur among small groups of persons in a localized area. However, because many foods are distributed widely and rapidly, and because detection methods have improved, outbreaks that occur in multiple states and perhaps span the entire country are being recognized with increasing frequency, the report notes.

The CDC said the 120 multistate outbreaks that occurred between 2010 through 2014 accounted for 66 of 118 deaths from foodborne illnesses during the five-year period. The multistate outbreaks resulted in 11 percent of the total foodborne illnesses and 34 percent of the hospitalizations.

The CDC report comes as the Food and Drug Administration is rolling out a rule setting the first mandatory food-safety standards for produce growers. Fruits, vegetable row crops, beef and sprouts were the foods most often implicated in the multistate outbreaks.

The FDA submitted the produce standards for publication in the Federal Register as well as two other rules, for foreign supplier verification and third-party verification, an agency spokeswoman says. FDA was required to develop the rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act.


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