Set the Table: Improving Restaurant Food Safety Through Science and Practice

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The content and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hear from Dr. Laura Brown and Lieutenant Commander Beth Wittry from CDC and Thuy Kim from the University of Minnesota. They shared information on key CDC training and surveillance resources for outbreaks, along with exciting new research findings on restaurant food safety.


  • There are 800 foodborne illness outbreaks a year in the United States, and most occur in restaurants.
  • State and local health departments inspect restaurants and conduct outbreak investigations.

CDC conducts research, surveillance, and training to inform and improve restaurant food safety, as well as the program policies and practices health departments can use. The ultimate goal is to reduce foodborne illness and outbreaks. This CDC webinar covers updates in three key areas:

  • Research – Restaurant inspection practices, including grading and posting
  • Surveillance – Clostridium perfringens findings and recommendations from CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reports System (NEARS)
  • Training – CDC’s interactive Environmental Assessment Training Series

This webinar broadcasted via Zoom on Tuesday, September 13, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET.


Laura Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Laura Brown works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and leads the National Center for Environmental Health’s Safe Food Section. This team conducts research and surveillance on retail food safety and foodborne outbreaks

Beth Wittry, M.P.H., REHS, CP-FS
LCDR Beth Wittry is an Environmental Health Officer with the CDC National Center for Environmental Health’s Safe Food Section. She oversees food safety research projects to understand environmental factors associated with foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.

Thuy Kim, M.P.H.
Thuy Kim is a PhD candidate in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Her research focuses on improving foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigation using environmental health data.

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