Purpose: The purpose of the analyses is to spotlight CORE’s accomplishments as well as display and summarize FDA outbreak data.
Methods: The 108 outbreaks, occurring August 2011 to December 2015, were analyzed by product category; year; pathogen; and number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths using data from the FDA CORE Outbreak Database and the Emergency Operations Network database.
Results: The analyses found that since August 2011, there have been 7,181 illnesses, 1,403 hospitalizations and 69 deaths due to these foodborne illness outbreaks. The majority of outbreaks were attributed to produce (n=42), followed by seafood (n=21) and processed food (n=12). Illnesses were also predominantly caused by outbreaks associated with produce (n=4,451), followed by seafood (n=608) and processed foods (n=511). Outbreaks associated with produce were attributed to 47 deaths, followed by dairy (n=15). These deaths are primarily due to foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (77%), whereas the majority of illnesses are attributed to Salmonella infections (53%). In response to these outbreaks, CORE has worked in partnership with the CDC, USDA, and all five FDA regional and 20 district offices. CORE also allied with at least 67 State public health/agriculture agencies, as well as international partners.
Significance: A coordinated effort to respond to foodborne illness outbreaks enables FDA CORE to streamline and more quickly identify, respond to, and prevent outbreaks. CORE continues to collaborate with its federal, state, and international partners to refine its processes to detect, investigate and prevent outbreaks as efficiently as possible to secure a safer food supply.