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CDC turns to Yelp for tracking reports of foodborne illness

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently posted analysis of using the urban business-review site Yelp to identify unreported outbreaks of foodborne illness, reports the latest edition of Influence Feed.

The analysis stems from a demand to gather more accurate information, as the majority of gastrointestinal disease associated with restaurants goes unreported (as addressed by Food Safety News in April).

The CDC’s post explores New York City Health Department research conducted by Columbia University to identify restaurant reviews on Yelp that referred to foodborne illness.

Of almost 300,000 reviews scoured, the study identified 893 reviews that required further evaluation, 499 of which were consistent with foodborne illness such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Quoted by The New York Times dining editor Maria Newman, a spokesperson for Yelp was hopeful that “Our partnership could lead to a dramatic reduction in foodborne illness.”

On May 24, The New York Times shared the article with 11.9 million followers on Twitter. The Oregonian‘s Lynne TerryEater (national) and Time all reported on the CDC’s findings while the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), food journalist Clare Leschin-Hoar and Barfblog’s Doug Powell tweeted about the matter.

Visit Influence Feed for more industry trends and insights from key opinion leaders.


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