Georgians are at greater risk of contracting salmonella food poisoning today than a decade ago, according to figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control.
The figures, reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, fly in the face of promises by state and federal health officials to improve food safety following national salmonella outbreaks traced to Georgia food producers.
Last month, authorities announced federal charges against officials of a south Georgia peanut processor linked to a 2008-2009 salmonella outbreak that sickened 700 people nationally and killed nine.
The state was linked to another national outbreak in 2007, when salmonella from ConAgra Foods in Sylvester, the maker of Peter Pan peanut butter, sickened more than 600 people.
State and federal health officials don’t know why Georgia’s rate of reported salmonella infections jumped by almost half from 2000 to 2011. The number of reported cases, not adjusted for population growth, jumped even more: by 77 percent.