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
In July 2014, the Tennessee Department of Health linked an outbreak of Salmonella to a splash pad in west Tennessee. Following this outbreak, the Department of Health and its FoodCORE Interview Team investigated splash pads to identify the hazards and to prevent similar outbreaks. The team evaluated the water quality at 29 splash pads and conducted risky behavior observation studies at 17 of the 59 splash pads across the state of Tennessee.
The entire FoodCORE team was instrumental in this investigation and research: the astute laboratorians who identified the Salmonella outbreak, the student team and epidemiologists who interviewed the cases and found the link to the splash pad, and the environmental health specialists who conducted the water quality assessments. Guidance will be available to community recreation directors to help them make splash pads safer for people to enjoy.