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February 25, 2016 : How the Government Detects Listeria Outbreaks

Between February 2015 to January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found three major Listeria food poisoning outbreaks, which, in summation, sickened fifty-seven people, and contributed to the death of seven. Data like this may seem to suggest that the threat of Listeria food poisoning is increasing, while in fact it is not.

Since the common source of more outbreaks are being detected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC, these outbreaks can be addressed and stopped before more people are sickened.

How Are the Sources of Food Poisoning Outbreaks Detected?

Previously, the government may have mistook widespread outbreaks for individual bouts of food poisoning. This is no longer a problem, thanks to new technology which helps to find the common source of individual food poisonings. This technology called “PulseNet”, connects cases of foodborne illness to potential outbreaks.

According to the CDC, “PulseNet is a national laboratory network which connects foodborne illness cases together to detect and define outbreaks using DNA “fingerprinting” of the bacteria making people sick.”

Results of PulseNet

As the CDC puts it, “PulseNet has revolutionized the detection and investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks, especially in multiple sites across the country which, before PulseNet, often went undetected or were detected only after they grew very large.” Due to these advancements, the CDC has identified several outbreaks over the span of 2015 and into 2016, such as:


The Weinberg Law Firm has helped food poisoning victims nationwide receive compensation for their injuries and related damages. If you or a loved one has been injured after eating a contaminated food product or restaurant meal, and you would like to know more about your legal rights, please call our lawyers at 1-877-934-6274.

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