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FoodCORE - Foodborne Diseases Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement


The Foodborne Diseases Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement (FoodCORE)began as a CDC funded pilot project in 2009 in three sites to improve state and local health department responses to foodborne disease outbreaks. It was so successful that the project currently funds 10 sites, encompassing approximately 18% of the US population. FoodCORE sites are working together to develop new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to, and control multistate outbreaks of foodborne diseases.

Although efforts are primarily focused on outbreaks caused by bacteria including Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Listeria, the ability to detect and investigate viral and parasitic foodborne disease outbreaks will also be enhanced and strengthened.

Goals and Objectives

  • Building state and local health department capacity and improving response to foodborne disease outbreaks
  • Building collaborative models to conduct rapid, coordinated, centralized and standardized interviews
  • Building state and local health department capacity for laboratory surveillance, epidemiologic response and environmental assessment
  • Developing measurable performance indicators


In Connecticut, FoodCORE funding supports the establishment of a FoodCORE student team dedicated to improving response to foodborne disease outbreaks through the following:
  • Centralized rapid interviews collect demographic, clinical, risk factor and other information on all diagnosed cases, concentrating on, but not limited to, Salmonella, Listeria, and STEC cases
  • Additional investigation prompted by detection of cluster or local outbreaks
  • Participating fully in multistate investigations and assessment of cases with matching patterns from food
Additional FoodCORE activities include the following:
  • Collaborating with CDC and other sites to develop and implement standard core questionnaires
  • Validation and implementation at the CT Department of Public Health laboratory of molecular serotyping of Salmonella, STEC, and Listeria species
  • Completion of National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) reports for all foodborne outbreaks
  • Providing reports on FoodCORE performance measures designed to demonstrate successes and identify gaps in the detection, investigation and control of enteric disease outbreaks

FoodCORE Success Story: Investigating Zoonotic Outbreaks

Selected Publications

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: incidence and trends of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food - foodborne diseases active surveillance network, 10 US Sites, 1996-2010. MMWR 2011;60(22):749-55

A Guh, Q Phan, R Nelson, K Purviance, E Milardo, S Kinney, P Mshar, W Kasacek, M Cartter. Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157 associated with raw milk, Connecticut, 2008. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010;51(12):1411-7

R Marcus, S Hurd, L Mank, P Mshar, Q Phan, K Jackson, K Watarida, Y Salfinger, S Kim, ML Ishida, B Kissler. Chicken salad as the source of a case of Listeria monocytogenes infection in Connecticut. Journal of Food Protection 2009;72(12):2602-6

JM Nelson, R Bednarczyk, J Nadle, P Clogher, J Gillespie, A Daniels, M Plantenga, A Ingram, K Edge, JP Furuno, E Scallan, G FoodNet Emerging Infections Program Working. FoodNet survey of food use and practices in long-term care facilities. Journal of Food Protection 2008;71(2):365-72

Project Contact Person

Tamara Rissman, MPH
Program Manager, CT FoodNet

Connecticut Emerging Infections Program
One Church Street, 7th floor
New Haven, CT 06510


FoodCORE Students

  • Yiyi Li
  • Omar Guerrero
  • Alexander Duarte