Number of food-borne illnesses in Arizona facilities down in 2017

Dec 15, 2017, 4:45 AM
(Flickr/Sebastiaan ter Burg)...
(Flickr/Sebastiaan ter Burg)
(Flickr/Sebastiaan ter Burg)

PHOENIX — After more than 100,000 routine health inspections of more than 50,000 Arizona facilities in 2017, is it safe to go out to dinner?

“We’ve seen a decrease in the number of food-borne illness complaints that we received,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It was almost a five percent decrease over last year.”

That’s according to the department’s 2017 Annual Report on Food Safety and Environmental Services.

While fewer people are filing complaints about food-borne illness from restaurants, Christ said there are still some concerns.

“We are seeing an increase in our Campylobacter infections and our Shigella infections over the last five years,” she said.

“That’s something that we’ll probably look into moving forward, because Shigella can cause very unpleasant things,” she said. “So we would want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent people from getting that illness.”

However, the rest of those little infectious bugs, like E.coli and salmonella, have stayed relatively stable.

The annual state health report also inspected bottle water facilities, public swimming pools, camp grounds, prisons, sanitation and public toilets.

“Some facilities receive multiple inspections so that our citizens of Arizona know that where they are eating, where they’re getting their bottled water, where they’re swimming that that is safe,” Christ said.

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Number of food-borne illnesses in Arizona facilities down in 2017