The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks, United States, 2014, Annual Report, providing data on recognised outbreaks caused by foodborne agents in which the first illness occurred in 2014.
Overall the report shows that 864 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported during the year, resulting in 13,246 illnesses, 712 hospitalisations, 21 deaths and 21 product recalls. Outbreaks were reported in 49 of the 50 US states, with only South Dakota reporting no outbreaks. There were 25 multistate outbreaks identified, comprising 3% of the total. However these outbreaks were responsible for 28% of all hospitalisations and more than half of the recorded deaths.
Bacteria were the disease agents most commonly associated with outbreaks (53%), followed by viruses (35%), chemicals (10%) and parasites (2%). Norovirus was the most frequent single cause of outbreaks, followed by Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.
Foods associated with outbreaks were classified into one of 24 different categories. The most commonly implicated categories were fish, chicken and dairy (mainly unpasteurised dairy products), but seeded vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers were responsible for the highest number of outbreak-associated illnesses (16%).
The full report can be downloaded as a PDF from the CDC website here.