Wednesday 24 January 2018

FDA Creates Foodborne Illness Team To Respond Quickly To Outbreaks

In order to more effectively combat foodborne illness, and perhaps in response to the recent rash of contaminated food, the FDA has unveiled a new team, the Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network, dedicated to responding quickly to human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks.

The CORE Network is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists, emergency coordinators, and risk communications specialists. Working full-time on outbreak prevention and response at headquarters, the CORE is complemented by trained, experienced investigators in FDA field offices nationwide. CORE will coordinate closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state public health and agriculture agencies in human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks.

Dr. Kathleen F. Gensheimer, M.D., M.P.H., a nationally recognized public health leader who most recently was the state epidemiologist for Maine, serves in the new position of chief medical officer/outbreak director. In this capacity, she leads the CORE Network and has responsibility for all FDA preparedness, outbreak response and post-response activities.

“The CORE Network builds on the best practices FDA has already implemented in its outbreak response efforts,” said Mike Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner of foods. “And, in keeping with the reforms of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, CORE activities will learn from outbreaks to develop preventive systems, in an effort to reduce them from happening in the future.

“CORE will also allow for more consistency in monitoring and investigating outbreaks, as well as streamline decision making and improve food safety practices,” Taylor added.

Read more from the press release here.

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