Population Survey

FoodNet determines the incidence of laboratory-confirmed infections for bacterial pathogens transmitted commonly through food. However, these reports represent only a subset of the true number of cases of diarrheal illness that occur in the community; most diarrheal illnesses are undiagnosed and, therefore, not reported. To more precisely estimate the burden of acute diarrheal illness and to describe the frequency of important exposures, FoodNet has conducted population-based telephone surveys of persons residing in the surveillance area. FoodNet uses the data to estimate the prevalence and severity of diarrheal illness in the community, describe common symptoms associated with diarrhea, and determine the proportion of persons with diarrhea who seek medical care – and assess exposures that might be risk factors for foodborne illness, such as consumption of risky foods or recent travel outside the United States.

Methods

The population surveys were administered by adapting the standard Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) methodology. The surveys were probability samples in which participants were selected following a disproportionate stratified sample (DSS) random-digit-dialing (RDD) method. Once a household was contacted, the number of males and females in the household were enumerated. The target group was non-institutionalized persons aged 1 year and older; if a child aged 12 years or under was selected, a parent was interviewed to ascertain information about the child. Participants answered questions on various exposures associated with diarrheal illness, episodes of diarrhea or vomiting in the past month, and basic demographics. Post-stratification weights were used to adjust the distribution of the sample by age and sex to match the U.S. Census population.

The 2006-2007 Population Survey was conducted in all 10 FoodNet sites for 12 consecutive months, from May 2006 to April 2007, in both English and Spanish. For the first time, a pre-notification letter was sent to inform the household about the purpose of the survey. In 2007, the total population residing in the FoodNet catchment was 46 million persons, representing 15% of the U.S .population.

2006-2007 Atlas of Exposures Cdc-pdf[PDF – 29 pages]

The 2002-2003 Population Survey was conducted in all 10 FoodNet sites for 12 consecutive months, from March 2002 to February 2003, in both English and Spanish. In 2002, the total population in the FoodNet catchment was 42 million persons, representing 14% of the U.S. population.

2002-2003 Atlas of Exposures Cdc-pdf[PDF – 362 pages]

The 2000-2001 Population Survey was conducted in eight FoodNet sites (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee) for 12 consecutive months, from February 2000 through January 2001. In 2000, the total population of these eight sites was 33 million persons, representing 12% of the U.S. population.

An electronic copy of the 2000-2001 Atlas of Exposures is not currently available. Please contact foodnet@cdc.gov to request a printed copy.

The 1998-1999 Population Survey was conducted in seven FoodNet sites (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon) for 12 consecutive months , from February 1998 through February 1999. In 1998, the total population of these seven sites was approximately 29 million persons, representing 11% of the U.S. population.

An electronic copy of the 1998-1999 Atlas of Exposures is not currently available. Please contact foodnet@cdc.gov to request a printed copy.

The 1996-1997 Population Survey was conducted in five FoodNet sites (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, and Oregon) for 12 consecutive months from July 1996 through July 1997. In 1996, the total population in the five sites was approximately 14 million persons; this represented 8% of the U.S. population.

An electronic copy of the 1996-1997 Atlas of Exposures is not currently available. Please contact foodnet@cdc.gov to request a printed copy.

Vanden Eng J, Marcus R, Hadler JL, et al. Consumer attitudes and use of antibiotics. Emerg Infect Dis. 2003; 9(9): 1128-1135.

Imhoff B, Morse D, Shiferaw B, Hawkins M, Vugia D, Lance-Parker S, Hadler J, Medus C, Kennedy M, Moore MR, Van Gilder T. Burden of self-reported acute diarrheal illness in FoodNet surveillance areas, 1998-1999. Clin Infect Dis. 2004;38(Suppl 3):S219-226.

Green LR, Selman C, Scallan E, Jones TF, Marcus R, and the FoodNet Population Survey Working Group. Beliefs about meals eaten outside the home as sources of gastrointestinal illness. J Food Prot. 2005;68(10);2184–2189.

Scallan E, Majowicz SE, Hall G, Banerjee A, Bowman CL, Daly L, Jones T, Kirk MD, Fitzgerald M, and Angulo FJ. Prevalence of diarrhoea in the community in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Int J of Epidemiol. 2005;34(2):454–460.

Hoefer D, Malone S, Marcus R, Frenzen PD, Scallan E, Zansky SM. Knowledge, attitude, and practice of the use of irradiation among respondents to the FoodNet Population Survey in Connecticut and New York. J Food Prot. 2006;69(10):2441–2446.

Scallan E, Jones TF, Cronquist AB, et al. Factors associated with seeking medical care and submitting a stool sample in estimating the burden of foodborne Illness. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2006;3(4):432–438.

Patrick ME, Griffin PM, Voetsch AC, Mead PS. Effectiveness of recall notification: community response to a nationwide recall of hot dogs and deli meats. J Food Prot. 2007 Oct;70(10):2373-6.

Samuel MC, Vugia DJ, Koehler KM, Marcus R, Deneen VC, Damaske B, Shiferaw B, Hadler JL, Henao OL, Angulo FJ. Consumption of risky foods Among adults at high risk for severe foodborne diseases: Room for improved targeted prevention messages. J Food Saf 2007;27(2):219-232.

Cantwell LB, Henao OL, Hoekstra RM, Scallan E. The effect of different recall periods on estimates of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, FoodNet Population Survey 2006–2007. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2010 Oct;7(10):1225-8

Patrick ME, Mahon BE, Zansky SM, Hurd S, Scallan E. Riding in shopping carts and exposure to raw meat and poultry products: prevalence of, and factors associated with, this risk factor for Salmonella and Campylobacter infection in children younger than 3 years. J Food Prot.2010 Jun;73(6):1097-100.

Shiferaw B, Verrill L, Booth H,. Zansky S, Norton D, Crim S, Henao O. Sex-Based Differences in Food Consumption: Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Population Survey, 2006–2007. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;54 Suppl 5:S453-7