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Volume 23, Number 3—March 2017

Dispatch

Outbreaks of Disease Associated with Food Imported into the United States, 1996–20141

L. Hannah Gould2Comments to Author , Jennifer Kline, Caitlin Monahan, and Katherine Vierk
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (L.H. Gould, J. Kline); US Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland, USA (C. Monahan, K. Vierk)

Main Article

Table

Outbreaks and illnesses caused by imported foods, by causative agent and food category, United States, 1996–2014*

Etiology No. (%)
Outbreaks
Illnesses
Agent
Scombroid toxin 57 (31) 192 (2)
Salmonella 52 (28) 4,421 (42)
Ciguatoxin 18 (10) 76 (0.7)
Cyclospora 11 (6) 3,533 (33)
Norovirus 10 (5) 131 (1)
Escherichia coli O157 6 (3) 116 (1)
Shigella sonnei 5 (3) 625 (6)
Vibrio parahaemolyticus 5 (3) 243 (2)
Listeria monocytogenes 4 (2) 67 (0.6)
Hepatitis A virus 4 (2) 1150 (11)
Brucella 3 (2) 11 (0.1)
Other†
9 (5)
38 (0.4)
Food category
Aquatic animals
Fish 88 (45) 830 (8)
Mollusks 17 (9) 350 (3)
Crustaceans 1 (0.5) 18 (0.2)
Other seafood 1 (0.5) 14 (0.1)
Land animals
Dairy 12 (6) 140 (1)
Beef 1 (0.5) 29 (0.3)
Eggs 1 (0.5) 58 (0.5)
Game 1 (0.5) 2 (0)
Produce
Fruits 22 (112) 3,450 (32)
Seeded vegetables 11 (6) 1,847 (17)
Sprouts 10 (5) 510 (5)
Vegetable row crops 7 (4) 1,241 (12)
Spices 4 (2) 530 (5)
Herbs 4 (2) 1,147 (11)
Other produce 2 (1) 154 (1)
Other plants
Nuts and seeds 5 (3) 132 (1)
Oils and sugars 2 (1) 10 (0.1)
Grains and beans 1 (0.5) 89 (0.8)
Multiple etiology‡ 5 (3) 134 (1)

*Causative agent data were available for 184 outbreaks involving 10,603 illnesses. Food category data were available for 195 outbreaks involving 10,685 illnesses.
†Other agents implicated were tetrodotoxin (3 outbreaks) and Campylobacter, chaconine, Paragonimus, other virus, sulfite, and Trichinella (1 outbreak each).
‡Foods implicated were a chicken dish, crab cake, creampuff, beer, and a wheat snack (1 outbreak each).

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1Preliminary results from this study were presented at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, March 11–14, 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

2Current affiliation: New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Queens, New York, USA.

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