Following a recent E. coli outbreak that shut down 43 Chipotle restaurants and sickened dozens, the CDC has issued a statement warning Americans that an increase in food poisoning outbreaks that cross state lines has been reported. On average, two dozen multi-state outbreaks have occurred within the last five years, an increase of 25 percent over the past three decades.
Between 2010 and 2014, the CDC analyzed 8,000 cases of food poisoning and estimated that approximately 11 percent could be considered multi-state outbreaks, compared to an average of three percent between 1973 and 2010.
The CDC’s warning should not be taken lightly, but the state agency has explained that many of the reported outbreaks could be attributed to improved detection technology and more sophisticated testing that can now link reports of several seemingly incidents, and group them together as a multi-state outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
However, the increase in widespread contamination is also linked to wider distribution ranges of large-scale suppliers. Suppliers used to only ship to immediate areas, but now with restaurant chains and grocery stores using consistent suppliers, a tainted product could cross state lines in no time.
The CDC is still investigating the Chipotle outbreak, which has sickened 37 people so far.