Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch

CDC’s lead group for responding to multistate outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness linked to food and animal contact

The mission of CDC’s Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch (ORPB) is to:

  • Efficiently triage, investigate, and solve multistate foodborne and zoonotic outbreaks
  • Take timely action to prevent illnesses through effective risk communication and outreach
  • Leverage outbreak data to drive overall prevention of foodborne and zoonotic disease
White circles connected together in the shape of the USA

ORPB rapidly responds to multistate outbreaks and applies outbreak findings to identify gaps in food safety, and animal husbandry, sanitation, and hygiene. In any given week, ORPB is typically monitoring between 17 and 36 possible outbreaks.

ORPB collaborates with a wide range of local, state, and federal partners, including public health, animal health, and regulatory officials. ORPB is a member of the Interagency Foodborne Outbreak Response Collaboration—a group comprised of staff from CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture that works together to improve federal foodborne outbreak response.


  • Coordinate epidemiologic investigations of multistate outbreaks of enteric disease
  • Stop outbreaks by rapidly identifying the source and communicating about actions people and businesses can take to prevent more sicknesses
  • Distill lessons learned and gaps identified during multistate outbreak investigations to inform outbreak prevention strategies
  • Provide technical assistance to local and state health departments and other groups at CDC that investigate foodborne and zoonotic outbreaks
  • Improve investigation processes through performance evaluation and development of new tools and approaches


  • Foodborne Outbreak Response Team: Rapidly triages newly identified illness clusters and coordinates the epidemiologic investigation and response to multistate foodborne outbreaks.
  • Enteric Zoonoses Activity: Collaborates with partners using a One Health approach to investigate and prevent outbreaks linked to contact with animals and their environments.
  • Prevention and Evaluation Activity: Leverages information gained from multistate outbreak investigations and collaborates with many partners, such as industry and consumer groups, to prevent future illnesses and outbreaks.
  • Communications Activity: Informs the public of outbreak risks and ways to prevent illness in clear, timely, transparent, and innovative ways.