The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year, foodborne diseases cause illness in 1 in 6 Americans (or about 48 million people) resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.
Foodborne Diseases Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement (FoodCORE) centers work together to develop new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to, and control multistate outbreaks of foodborne diseases. Efforts are primarily focused on outbreaks caused by bacteria, including Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and Listeria. The ability to detect and investigate viral and parasitic foodborne disease outbreaks will also be strengthened.
Recent Highlights and Successes
During an already busy summer in 2014, several FoodCORE centers proved once again to be instrumental during the investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections – this time involving multiple Salmonella serotypes. PulseNet initially detected several ill people with a rare DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Newport and multiple health departments, including six FoodCORE centers, immediately began working with their federal partners on the investigation.
By the end of the investigation, illnesses with three Salmonella serotypes (Newport, Hartford, and Oranienburg) and multiple DNA fingerprints would be linked to sprouted chia powder, a food which has never before been identified as the cause of an outbreak. In all, 31 ill people were identified in 16 states and an additional 63 ill people were identified in Canada.