Food-related illnesses from one highly toxic form of E. coli decreased in the U.S. by more than 50% in 2010, but infections from foodborne salmonella increased 10%, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC released its annual Vital Signs report in June, revealing data collected from its Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet).

 The data is only from people living within the network, which accounts for 15% of the U.S. population. The network includes selected counties in California, Colorado and New York and the states of Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon and Tennessee.

“In 2010, the incidence (of salmonella) was nearly three times the national health objective target,” the 12-page report stated. “Salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million U.S. illnesses annually, approximately 1 million of which are transmitted by food consumed in the U.S.”

CDC extrapolated that estimate of 1 million illnesses from FoodNet statistics for 2010, which showed 19,089 confirmed food-related infections, 4,247 hospitalizations and 68 deaths. Salmonella was the most reported pathogen, responsible for 8,256 illnesses, 2,290 hospitalizations, and 29 deaths, according to the report.

Statisticians at CDC generated estimates from the report that suggest contaminated food causes 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year in the U.S. The estimates include non-documented cases, according to the CDC.

“CDC estimates that there are 29 infections (from salmonella) for every lab-confirmed salmonella infection,” stated a June 7 press release from the agency.

The agency’s Vital Signs report tracks nine of the most common infections transmitted by food, including E. coli O157, which decreased in 2010 to 0.9 cases per 100,000 people, down from 2.0 cases per 100,000 in 1996 when the reports began.

Overall, there was a 23% decrease in illnesses from the nine bacteria, even though salmonella and vibrio infections increased.

To read the complete report, go to