FoodCORE Center: Colorado

Colorado state image

Program Overview

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) FoodCORE program was established in the fall of 2014 to develop and implement new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to, and control outbreaks of foodborne diseases.

“Colorado becoming a FoodCORE center is a great opportunity to increase interview and outbreak detection capacity across the state. We are excited to be a part of FoodCORE and work with other FoodCORE sites and local health departments to detect, investigate, respond to, and control multistate and local outbreaks of foodborne diseases.”

Nereida Corral, FoodCORE Epidemiologist

At A Glance

Year joined FoodCORE: 2014
Population: 5.4 M1
Structure: Decentralized
Number of local and tribal health departments: 54


  • More timely and robust case interviews
  • Generating case and outbreak investigation metrics
  • Improve cluster and outbreak detection


  • Enhance capabilities required for serotype identification
  • Expand current test offerings to include more etiologic agents
  • Maintain minimum turn-around times for test completion and results reporting

Environmental Health

  • Increase training for local partners on environmental assessments for complaint and outbreak investigations at retail food establishments
  • Provide resources for local health departments to utilize during outbreak investigations

12015 Population Estimates

Program Highlight

Despite the Colorado FoodCORE program being in the early stages of implementation, that did not limit opportunities to work closely with other FoodCORE centers. In the first full year as a FoodCORE site, Colorado worked closely with the Tennessee FoodCORE center when investigating a Salmonella outbreak at a summer camp in Colorado. Collaboration is an important piece of the FoodCORE program. FoodCORE centers collaborate internally between laboratorians, epidemiologists, and environmental health specialists as well as externally with other centers and health departments.

Colorado has a decentralized public health system. Our goal is to work closely with the Colorado Food Safety Center of Excellence and 54 local health departments in the state to improve foodborne disease outbreak response by:

  • Conducting more robust and timely case interviews
  • Strengthening CDPHE Laboratory capabilities to provide timely subtyping data
  • Generating and examining metrics around case and outbreak investigation to identify strengths and gaps
  • Providing case and outbreak investigation training to local public health partners
  • Coordinating cluster and outbreak response activities between the state and local health departments