The Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence aim to develop novel learning methods to educate and train the future public health workforce to investigate foodborne outbreaks. The Foodborne Outbreak Challenge is a one-day event hosted by our center. Learn more about the FOC in this article published in the Journal of Food Science Education.
Following a deadly Salmonella outbreak in a long-term care facility, Colorado public health staff are embarking on a data-driven approach to improve food safety for the elderly.
The Colorado CoE used national foodborne outbreak data to develop analytical tools to aid hypothesis generation, including a decision tree for shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).
The Colorado CoE developed a target audience framework and competencies for public health professionals who investigate foodborne illness outbreaks.
Case-control studies are a mainstay of foodborne outbreak investigations. However, they can be resource intensive and slow. Other methods have been developed for testing associations, such as Bernoulli trials. Population-based case control studies and Bernoulli trails were conducted for two outbreaks. Results and resources required for both methods were compared.
In this report, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) outbreak data was used to describe differences in demographic and outbreak characteristics and to predict food vehicles using differential characteristics.
Two simultaneous salmonella outbreaks in Colorado were evaluated and compared. Epidemiological tools, laboratory results, and environmental health inspections were all crucial to understanding these outbreaks.