After decades of steady progress, the safety of the nation's food supply is no longer improving. And in the case of salmonella -- the dangerous bacteria recently found in peanuts and pistachios -- infections may be creeping upward, the government reported Thursday.
In 2008, 16 out of 100,000 people in the United States had laboratory-confirmed cases of salmonella infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That translates into about 48,000 serious illnesses, since individual stool samples are sent to labs generally only when someone is suffering a severe bout. In 2005, the figure was 14 people per 100,000 -- or about 42,000 cases of laboratory-confirmed salmonella infections.