Foodborne illness acquired in the United States--major pathogens

Elaine Scallan, Robert M Hoekstra, Frederick J Angulo, Robert V Tauxe, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Sharon L Roy, Jeffery L Jones, Patricia M Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Estimates of foodborne illness can be used to direct food safety policy and interventions. We used data from active and passive surveillance and other sources to estimate that each year 31 major pathogens acquired in the United States caused 9.4 million episodes of foodborne illness (90% credible interval [CrI] 6.6-12.7 million), 55,961 hospitalizations (90% CrI 39,534-75,741), and 1,351 deaths (90% CrI 712-2,268). Most (58%) illnesses were caused by norovirus, followed by nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. (11%), Clostridium perfringens (10%), and Campylobacter spp. (9%). Leading causes of hospitalization were nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. (35%), norovirus (26%), Campylobacter spp. (15%), and Toxoplasma gondii (8%). Leading causes of death were nontyphoidal Salmonella spp. (28%), T. gondii (24%), Listeria monocytogenes (19%), and norovirus (11%). These estimates cannot be compared with prior (1999) estimates to assess trends because different methods were used. Additional data and more refined methods can improve future estimates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Campylobacter
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Safety
  • Foodborne Diseases/epidemiology
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Norovirus
  • Population Surveillance/methods
  • Salmonella
  • Toxoplasma
  • United States/epidemiology


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