Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducts active population-based surveillance for laboratory confirmed cases of infections caused by ten microorganisms (Campylobacter, Shigella, Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, Salmonella, Yersinia, Vibrio, Listeria, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora and non-STEC) from ten state health departments, USDA FSIS and the Food and Drug Administration using a collaborative program called FoodNet. The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) of CDC’s emerging infection program allows ten U.S. States to actively monitor all laboratory-confirmed infections with select enteric pathogens transmitted commonly through food. This surveillance method has been successful in helping public health agencies to determine the trends associated with the consumption of select food or microorganisms, however, no active surveillance data is available to determine the trends associated with food-related outbreaks due to contaminated agricultural products with Staphylococcus aureus using the existing FoodNet Surveillance system. Furthermore, the surveillance of foodborne diseases is complicated by several other factors, which pose serious challenges to the public health. Therefore, there is a need for base-line data and a system that actively monitor the number of cases of Staphylococcal outbreaks associated with the consumption of agricultural products, including salad crops.
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