Training and Resources

  • Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) Guidelines Toolkitexternal icon
    The CIFOR Guidelines were developed to describe preparation for, detection of, investigation of, and response to foodborne outbreaks. The CIFOR Guidelines Toolkit was developed to complement the CIFOR Guidelines and assist jurisdictions in a self-assessment of their procedures and includes worksheets to help with implementation of the approaches described in the Guidelines.
  • Epi-Ready Team Trainingexternal icon
    The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed the Epi-Ready Team Training. Epi-Ready is a two-day, in-person training that aims to improve outbreak response by helping team members understand each other’s roles and responsibilities and by building relationships among team members. Continuing education credits are available for this course.
  • Tennessee Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence (CoE) Web Courseexternal icon
    While in-person team-trainings are regarded as the gold standard, getting an entire team together can be difficult and staff turnover would necessitate frequent retraining. To address this, the Tennessee CoE has begun development on a 7-part online training to identify the roles and responsibilities of team members and how they fit together. These courses can be taken individually, but can be completed as part of a group effort to improve communication. Continuing education credits are available for these courses.
  • Other CoE Online Trainings and Resourcesexternal icon
    The CoEs have developed numerous online trainings and resources related to foodborne illness. Resources span all disciplines and topics and are available online at no cost. Some of the trainings, videos, and guidance documents may be especially helpful when improving communication and collaboration. Resources are continually being updated and added, so check back often.
  • SEDRIC: System for Enteric Disease Response, Investigation, and Coordination
    CDC has worked with a private-sector partner to develop SEDRIC, a secure, web-based system to streamline and coordinate outbreak investigations. SEDRIC allows outbreak response teams in many different locations to work together faster and more effectively through real-time data sharing. SEDRIC is used by state, local, and federal health departments and regulatory agencies.
  • CDC eLearning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
    CDC has developed a free online training that covers the role of environmental health specialists during on outbreak investigation. While the course targets environmental health specialists, people working in other disciplines that are involved in foodborne outbreaks have benefited from the course. Continuing education credits are available for this course.
  • Rapid Response Team (RRT) Best Practices Manual pdf icon[PDF – 716 pages]external icon
    The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) RRT Best Practices Manual features tools that can be used by programs to improve key areas of response such as communication, traceback and traceforward, laboratory analysis, and joint investigations and inspections. It also establishes metrics for rapid response capabilities that allow RRTs to assess their status, identify improvement plans, and quantify accomplishments and impact. Download the full version of the RRT Best Practices Manual pdf icon[PDF – 716 pages]external icon or email the FDA/Office of Partnerships at
  • Team Approach to Foodborne Outbreak Responseexternal icon
    Louisiana State University in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security National Training Program developed Team Approach to Foodborne Outbreak Response. This is a 2-day, in-person training that aims to improve collaboration among outbreak teams and leverage resources to build and maintain response capacity. Continuing education credits are available for this course.
  • Foodborne-Related Emergency Exercise Bundle (FREE-B)external icon
    FDA has developed FREE-B, a compilation of scenarios for table-top exercises. Each scenario is designed to assess food emergency response plans, protocols, and procedures. A facilitator’s guide, a lead planner’s guide, and a situation manual are available for free download for each scenario.
  • FoodCORE Metrics
    The FoodCORE metrics have been developed, tested, and fully implemented in all FoodCORE centers. They cover diverse aspects of outbreak response spanning from outbreak surveillance and detection through investigation, response, control, and prevention measures. Using the metrics, each center provides data about the burden, timeliness, and completeness of enteric disease activities related to the key areas of activity. OutbreakNet Enhanced and CIFORexternal icon have also developed metrics that a jurisdiction may use to guide evaluation.