Not Making The Grade
Indiana is among the nation’s worst states for foodborne illnesses.
That’s according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) new “All Over the Map” report, which grades all 50 states on how quickly they solved foodborne illness outbreaks. The report, produced by CSPI using their own Outbreak Alert database and the Centers for Disease Control’s data, puts Indiana among the 14 states receiving an F.
However, Indiana officials say the grade was calculated with outdated data and no longer reflects how the state deals with foodborne illness.
Leaving Cases Unsolved
The report says Indiana’s biggest problem is the rate of solved illness cases.
Out of 88 food illness cases reported to the CDC last year, only 44 were solved (which means both an illness and a cause were identified). Eleven of Indiana’s 44 solved cases were caused by noroviruses, the most common cause of foodborne illness.
The Story From Other States
States with the most outbreaks per million people get the highest grades because, according to the report, “Those states are the most likely to have robust detection and reporting systems, not the most actual outbreaks.”
Indiana and the other F-receiving states reported one outbreak per million people, while Oregon and Minnesota, the “benchmark” states, reported nine outbreaks per million people.
Additionally, many of the failing states are in the south, where the temperatures are most conducive to bacteria growth.