FoodCORE Center: South Carolina
Program OverviewThe South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) established its FoodCORE program to improve the ability to detect and respond to foodborne outbreaks by enhancing epidemiologic, laboratory, and environmental health capacity.
“FoodCORE has greatly enhanced our case interviewing capacity. Before FoodCORE, we didn't have resources to routinely interview people with Salmonella infections. During 2011-2012, FoodCORE-funded staff successfully interviewed over 1500 reported cases. This program is critical to our responding to suspected outbreaks.”
Julie Schlegel, Foodborne Epidemiologist
South Carolina-FoodCORE enhances detection, investigation, and control of foodborne disease with increased staffing at the regional and central office levels to support laboratory and investigative expertise. Before funding, resources were not available for activities including 1) routine interview of people with a foodborne illness, 2) expanded food complaint surveillance, and 3) DNA fingerprint testing (PFGE) of all Salmonella isolates. These processes support the identification and rapid investigation of suspected outbreaks by epidemiologists.
Expanded food complaint surveillance plays a pivotal role in outbreak detection. It has expanded dramatically since FoodCORE funded a staff person dedicated to enhanced environmental health outbreak response. The proportion of food complainants interviewed (with interviews including a 72-hour food history) has risen from approximately 16% before funding to 60% in 2012.