Why Has Food Poisoning Increased Over Time?

Although we’ve become more aware of how food contamination can affect our health, food poisoning statistics only capture a fraction of the total number of cases. The vast majority of food poisoning victims never seek medical attention, so the statistics can be misleading. According to the CDC, about 48 million Americans contract gastro in any given year, costing the nation more than $1.25 billion. Public health experts believe that the changing eating habits of Americans are the primary cause, with the food service industry accounting for approximately three-quarters of all food-borne illness outbreaks in 2011.

Bacterial gastroenteritis is an important cause of illness in both the young and the old. Age-related changes in our sense of smell and taste may make us more susceptible to food poisoning. Pregnant women have weakened immune systems, and unborn babies are also susceptible to food-borne illnesses. People with chronic disease are also at higher risk of food poisoning. While symptoms of food-borne illness vary, some people may experience a mild case that resembles a stomach flu.

Another factor is the increasing age of the population. According to Patricia Desmarchelier, CSIRO’s food safety director, aging population poses a major challenge. Older people tend to experience foodborne illness more often than younger people, which may be due to reduced mobility and less time spent shopping. Increasing the age-related incidence of food-borne illness has been a major trend in recent years.

One major cause of food-borne illness is the lack of cleanliness of chicken and other meat-processing facilities. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says food safety practices need to be improved. In response, the Center for Science in the Public Interest called for better controls in the food industry and testing of chicken flocks for bacteria. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 gave the FDA more power to regulate the food industry and introduce standards for chicken contamination in processing facilities.

CDC has made strides in developing new tools that can identify the source of outbreaks. Whole genome sequencing, for example, helps the agency detect outbreaks quicker and contain them more quickly. CDC has declared 13 multistate outbreaks this year alone. While the CDC is able to determine the source of a foodborne outbreak, it is still unable to pinpoint why the number of cases has increased. Whether it is the environment or seasonality that is a factor, the CDC is monitoring the food supply to reduce the risk of disease.

While food-borne illness does not usually require medical attention, symptoms can range from mild to severe. These symptoms can develop within hours or days of eating the food. Some food-borne pathogens can lead to long-term illnesses, including meningitis and miscarriage. If you are prone to this condition, consult your physician as soon as possible. You may also want to subscribe to our free newsletter and stay informed on new health tips and solutions Celebrity biography

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