The incidence of food-borne illnesses linked to imported foods, particularly fish and spices, is on the rise, according to a recent CDC report.
According to the report, 39 outbreaks and 2,348 illnesses were linked to food that had been imported from 15 countries. Nearly half of those outbreaks were linked to food products that originated from areas that did not have a history of outbreaks, and 17 of them occurred between 2009 and 2010.
Hannah Gould, a CDC epidemiologist and the report's lead author, noted that it is too early to determine if the data represent a trend. A food safety law was enacted last year that granted FDA additional authority to monitor the nation's food supply (Weise, USA Today, 3/14; Bristol, CQ HealthBeat, 3/14 [subscription required]; Hsu, Los Angeles Times, 3/14).