States vary widely in reporting foodborne illnesses

Source: Max Levy, Joe Yerardi and Dustin Volz, The Washington Post

Inconsistent reporting of foodborne illnesses such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli leaves large portions of the country vulnerable to the spread of potentially deadly outbreaks before health officials can identify their causes and recall contaminated foods. These three bacteria have caused at least 12 multi-state outbreaks this year, including the listeria infection traced to Jensen Farms’ cantaloupe. But salmonella is the leader, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the multi-state outbreaks reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the past five years.

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