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FoodCORE Center: Connecticut

Connecticut State Map

Program Overview

The Connecticut Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Yale School of Public Health, received federal funding beginning in 2012 to establish the Connecticut-FoodCORE program. Connecticut-FoodCORE collaborates with 76 local and tribal health departments in the state to improve detection, investigation and response to foodborne disease outbreaks.

Photo of Connecticut-FoodCORE Student Team

“We, as students, have been afforded the opportunity to share in the ownership of this new program. The collaboration between FoodCORE, FoodNet and the Department of Public Health epidemiologists creates a unique atmosphere for learning and working as a team.”

Connecticut-FoodCORE Student Team

At A Glance

Year joined FoodCORE: 2012
Population: 3.5 M
Structure: Decentralized
Number of local and tribal health departments: 76

Epidemiology:

  • Created a student interview team comprised of Yale students
  • Increased capacity for centralized interviewing
  • Increased capacity for more timely interviews

Laboratory:

  • Increased capacity for DNA fingerprinting (PFGE)
  • Increased capacity for molecular serotyping of Salmonella

Environmental Health

  • Conducted trainings for local health department staff
  • Developed foodborne outbreak investigation manual for local health departments
  • Conducted environmental health assessments for all foodborne outbreaks

Program Highlight

Since 2012, Connecticut FoodCORE has hired and trained a student team to provide added epidemiologic capacity. In addition to interviewing all STEC and Listeria cases, the student team also works closely with local health departments to help interview patients with Salmonella infections. The team has made significant contributions to several in-state and multistate outbreak investigations and provides surge capacity to the Connecticut Department of Public Health and local health departments during outbreak investigations.

Percentage of People with Salmonella Infections Interviewed by Year, Connecticut, 2009-2015

As a result of the Connecticut FoodCORE program, improvements in Salmonella interviews have occurred. Complete and timely interviews help solve foodborne outbreak investigations. During 2009-2011, 51% of people with Salmonella infections were interviewed. By contrast, 86% of people with Salmonella infections were interviewed in 2015 by either Connecticut FoodCORE or local health departments. Working closely with Connecticut FoodNet, the FoodCORE team has also assisted with other foodborne surveillance activities and projects.

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