Steps in Reporting Foodborne Disease Outbreaks and Accessing Data
Outbreak data can be a powerful tool for learning what to do to prevent and stop occurrences. CDC’s multiple food safety groups and public-health partners team to collect outbreak reports, analyze the data, and provide public access to this vital information.
The steps in reporting a foodborne disease outbreak include:
- People, who have been exposed to a pathogen and get sick, seek treatment. When two or more people experience a similar illness from eating or drinking the same food, this event becomes an outbreak.
- State, local, and territorial public health departments investigate the outbreak then report their findings through CDC’s National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS).
- CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System downloads and verifies the data from the health department then analyzes it for trends.
- FDOSS makes the data available for the public to assess through FOOD Tool, CDC's Foodborne Outbreak Online Database. (For more information, see the FOOD Tool FAQ.)