The CDC’s OutbreakNet team works with the national network of epidemiologists and other public health practitioners to investigate outbreaks of foodborne, waterborne, and other illnesses in the United States. It helps ensure rapid, coordinated detection, and response to multistate outbreaks of enteric diseases. It develops a short list of suspect foods or other exposures, identifies food exposure associated with illness, and determines how the food became contaminated. This information can then be utilized in not only stopping the outbreak of disease but also in training professionals how to prevent the outbreak.
Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network
The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) is the primary section for food- borne disease of the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program. It is a special project using the information and skills of the CDC, 10 state health departments, the FSIS of the USDA, and the FDA. Its function is to provide a place for information to be gathered and then disseminated to interested individuals concerning foodborne diseases and their sources. It can rapidly pick up outbreaks which may be of a national nature and therefore advise the entire public health community about specific foodborne disease potential in their areas.
PulseNet is a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the CDC. PulseNet agencies perform molecular subtyping of bacteria which cause foodborne disease. This helps to determine which strains of a given organism are involved and then helps to determine the sources of infection.