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FoodCORE Center: Utah

map of the state of Utah

Program Overview

The Utah Department of Health works with state and local partners, including thirteen local health departments, Utah Public Health Laboratory, and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, to improve foodborne outbreak detection and response through improved epidemiologic, laboratory, and environmental health capacity.

Utah Department of Health Workers

“With the support of FoodCORE, Utah established an enteric team comprised of public health professionals and dedicated students. Our team not only enhances routine interviewing and surveillance—we mobilize and hit the ground running launching rapid, coordinated outbreak response efforts.”

Cindy Burnett, FoodCORE Project Director

At A Glance

Year joined FoodCORE: 2009
Population: 2.9 M1
Structure: Decentralized
Number of local and tribal health departments: 13

Epidemiology:

  • Increased capacity for interviewing to improve interview timeliness and completion
  • Piloted electronic and self-reporting questionnaires
  • Conducted trainings and developed webinars and electronic training resources

Laboratory:

  • Increased timeliness of serotyping and DNA fingerprinting (PFGE)
  • Trained local jurisdictions in outbreak sample collection, submission and testing

Environmental Health

  • Provided training and equipment for collecting water samples during outbreaks
  • Implemented Utah’s first electronic, statewide foodborne complaint surveillance system
  • Conducted annual trainings for environmental health specialists at local health departments

12015 Population Estimate https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/

Program Highlight

Logo for Utah’s complaint system, igotsick.

In February 2013, the Utah Department of Health enteric team launched igotsick. Utah’s first statewide foodborne complaint system. “Igotsick” is an easy way for members of the public to report suspected foodborne illnesses. Gathering this information helps us identify outbreaks more rapidly and provides critical exposure information to support investigations. Additionally, “Igotsick” helps local health departments easily share information with others and record follow-up activity in a standardized way. Igotsick currently logs an average of 30 to 40 complaints per month and several foodborne outbreaks have been identified through the system.

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