Check out CDC’s new report, which covers 902 foodborne disease outbreaks reported to CDC in 2015 via the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS).
Annual Summaries of Foodborne Outbreaks
CDC publishes annual summaries of domestic foodborne disease outbreaks based on reports provided by state, local, and territorial health departments. These summaries help public health practitioners better understand the pathogens, foods, settings, and contributing factors (for example, food not kept at the right temperature) involved in these outbreaks. They also can help identify emerging foodborne disease threats and can be used to inform and to assess interventions aimed at preventing outbreaks.
Foodborne outbreak summaries were first published in the United States in 1923 by the Public Health Service, a few decades before CDC (then called the Communicable Disease Center) was founded in 1946. These early reports focused on outbreaks attributed to milk, but by 1938 they began including all reported foodborne outbreaks. CDC acquired responsibility for reporting these outbreaks in 1961. From 1961 through 1965, however, the agency did not publish summary reports, but instead provided outbreak statistics and accounts of individual outbreaks in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Due to growing interest in foodborne disease problems, CDC began publishing annual foodborne outbreak summaries in 1966. The agency published outbreak data from 1966 through 1981 as stand-alone booklets and returned to publishing in the MMWR with the 1982 summary. Beginning with the 2011 report, CDC posted the summaries on this webpage.