Restaurants remain the most common setting of food poisoning outbreaks, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report, entitled Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks United States 2016 Annual Report, also reveals that 839 food poisoning outbreaks sickened 14,259 people in 2016. The outbreaks resulted in 875 hospitalizations and 17 deaths but triggered just 18 food recalls.

hospital interior

Restaurant Lawsuits

Of the 61 percent of outbreaks where a single location of food preparation was reported, restaurants, especially sit-down restaurants, were the most common location. Pritzker Hageman, a national food safety law firm, represents people who have been sickened by contaminated food. They have outlined 10 steps to filing a lawsuit against a restaurant. 

The CDC identified the three foods associated with the most illnesses overall: mollusks, such as oysters and scallops (529 illnesses), pork (438 illnesses); and grains and beans (383 illnesses).  And the three foods associated with the most outbreaks: fish (26 outbreaks), mollusks (21 outbreaks) and dairy products (19 outbreaks).

Thirty-nine of the outbreaks reported in 2016 were multi-state outbreaks. Of those four were linked to sprouts, three were linked to beef, three to seeded vegetables such as cucumbers, three were linked to fruit; and three were linked to nuts or seeds. Chicken and row vegetables such as leafy greens were the source of two outbreaks each.

Salmonella Accounts for Most Hospitalizations

Health officials were able to determine a single, confirmed pathogen caused 9,123 of the14,259 outbreak-related illnesses, 812 of the hospitalizations, and 15 of the fatalities. Norovirus was the source of 36 percent of the outbreaks and 42 percent of illnesses. Salmonella was the source of 33 percent of outbreaks and 33 percent of illnesses.

Salmonella was responsible for 56 percent of outbreak-related hospitalizations, Hepatitis A for 17 percent and E. coli 12 percent.  Listeria, Salmonella and E.coli were each responsible for three deaths. Hepatitis A was linked to two fatalities. Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholera were linked to one death each.

Pritzker Hageman Attorneys