Report: Despite Salmonella Scare, Cases of Illness Declining

Telma cornflakes on a supermarket shelf. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Telma cornflakes on a supermarket shelf. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Miki salad company is the latest in Israel to institute a mass recall of products due to food contamination. Smoked salmon (lox) in 100 and 200 gram packages bearing expiration dates of February and March 2017 were being recalled due to concerns that they may have been contaminated with listeria.

The recall is an expansion of one that began last week, when smoked salmon that was distributed to institutions was recalled. The company has decided to recall the products sold on the retail level as well.

Despite the wave of recalls of food products for contamination by salmonella, listeria, and other pathogens – there have been dozens in recent weeks since the original incident reported nearly a month ago in Telma cornflakes – the number of people actually infected with a food-borne disease has actually been on a downward trend in recent months.

The Health Ministry’s latest report on infections of the digestive system – which includes cases of food-borne illnesses treated in hospitals – contends that rates have been falling throughout the past three months. “[Rates in]community health centers and health fund offices are falling, with fewer people seeking treatment for these conditions,” the report said. “We also see fewer cases and admissions in hospitals for such diseases.”

Commenting on the report, Ofra Habkin, a senior Health Ministry official told Globes that the report was not surprising. “Paradoxically, the fact that we have had so many recalls indicates that supervision is good, and that food that could harm the public is not reaching it,” she said.