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About FoodNet

 US Map of FoodNet Sites: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee

Objectives

  • Determine the burden of foodborne illness in the United States
  • Monitor trends in the burden of specific foodborne illness over time
  • Attribute the burden of foodborne illness to specific foods and settings
  • Disseminate information that can lead to improvements in public health practice and the development of interventions to reduce the burden of foodborne illness.

The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) conducts surveillance for Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and non-O157, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia infections diagnosed by laboratory testing of samples from patients.

The network was established in July 1995 and is a collaborative program among CDC, 10 state health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FoodNet personnel located at state health departments regularly contact the clinical laboratories in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and selected counties in California, Colorado, and New York to get reports of infections diagnosed in residents of these areas.  The surveillance area includes 15% of the United States population (48 million persons). FoodNet is the principal foodborne disease component of CDC's Emerging Infections Program.

FoodNet accomplishes its work through active surveillance; surveys of laboratories, physicians, and the general population; and population-based epidemiologic studies. Information from FoodNet is used to assess the impact of food safety initiatives on the burden of foodborne illness. Please see Questions and Answers about 2012 FoodNet Data for more information about FoodNet and how we work.

Fast Facts about FoodNet Data

FoodNet was one of the main sources of data used in the work that led in 2011 to publication of the new estimates of foodborne illness acquired in the United States. About 1 in 6 (or 48 million) people get sick each year from contaminated food, with 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths annually.

FoodNet data indicate that children younger than 5 years old have higher incidence rates of Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157, E. coli non–O157, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia infection than any other age group.

FoodNet data indicate that adults 65 and older are at greater risk for hospitalization and death from infections that FoodNet tracks than are persons in other age groups.

CDC estimates that Salmonella infection causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of germ found in food.

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