Making Sense of the Statistics

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Making Sense of the Statistics
Eggs and Salmonella Enteritidis

1. It is estimated that one in 20,000 eggs may contain Salmonella Enteritidis (SE).

2. A person who eats a raw egg every day would encounter a contaminated egg once in 55
years.

3. Based on per capita egg consumption of 253, the average consumer would encounter a SE
contaminated egg once every 79 years.

4. Since 30% of all eggs consumed are pasteurized egg products, the average consumer
would encounter a SE contaminated shell egg every 113 years.

5. The USDA estimates that the average consumer eats an undercooked egg 20 times a year.
If so, consumers would be exposed to a SE contaminated undercooked shell egg once in
1000 years.

6. It is estimated that there are 76 million cases of food borne illness each year in the US.
The CDC estimates that there are 125,000 illnesses due to egg related SE each year
(approximately 0.16%).

7. The actual number of SE cases reported through the CDC’s Food Net system in 2001 was
2 cases in 100,000 persons. Adjusted for a population of 280 million people, this is a total
of 5,600 cases. The CDC estimates that for every reported case of Salmonella, there
are 38 unreported cases, so the actual number is multiplied by 38 for the total estimated
cases.

8. The odds of any one person in the US getting sick from SE in eggs is 1 in 2,240 or
0.045% each year.

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