Alliance for Food and Farming Report Identifies Sources of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

WATSONVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To help guide farmers in their efforts to reduce foodborne illness, The Alliance for Food and Farming today released an updated report which analyzes Centers for Disease Control data associated with foodborne illness outbreaks and produce.

The report shows that 12.3 percent of all foodborne illness outbreaks from 1990 to 2007 were associated with produce. Just over 10 percent of all identified outbreaks were associated with improper handling after leaving the farm and 2.2 percent were associated with the growing, packing, shipping or processing of produce. The majority of the foodborne illness outbreaks, 88 percent, are from non-produce food items…

…The report also concludes that improvements are still necessary when it comes to training and educating both consumers and restaurant employees on safe handling of produce. Findings show that 65 percent of outbreaks traced back to a produce item can be attributed to improper handling in a restaurant, most likely the result of cross contamination or improper employee hygiene. Mishandling at community events caused 14 percent of the produce-related outbreaks, followed by mishandling in the home which represents 13 percent of outbreaks associated with produce…

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