Novel outbreak-associated food vehicles (i.e., foods not implicated in past outbreaks) can emerge as a result of evolving pathogens and changing consumption trends. To identify these foods, we examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System and found 14,216 reported outbreaks with information on implicated foods. We compared foods implicated in outbreaks during 2007–2016 with those implicated in outbreaks during 1973–2006. We identified 28 novel food vehicles, of which the most common types were fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables; one third were imported. Compared with other outbreaks, those associated with novel food vehicles were more likely to involve illnesses in multiple states and food recalls and were larger in terms of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Two thirds of novel foods did not require cooking after purchase. Prevention efforts targeting novel foods cannot rely solely on consumer education but require industry preventive measures.
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