EP1205:†††††††††† Rapid Response Teams and the FDA CORE Network: Improving Foodborne Outbreak Responses


Speaker:††††††††† Patrick Kennelly


This presentation highlights resources developed in 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Rapid Response Team (RRT) Pilot Project that environmental health professionals can use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their agency's foodborne illness response team as well as the CORE Network's effort to streamline the processes in relation to signals, response, and post-response activities.† Attend this session and return to your office with FDA resources that you can use to help improve foodborne illness response.




CDC estimates published in 2011better define the burden of foodborne disease in the United States. Roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick each year, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Ongoing multi-state outbreaks and food/feed recalls provide powerful evidence that local, state, and federal agencies will be judged by their ability to mount a credible response to foodborne outbreaks and other food emergencies. Multiple initiatives have been launched to help agencies improve outbreak response team capabilities. Examples include the Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response by the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR), National Voluntary Retail Food Program Standards, National Environmental Health Associationís Epi-Ready Training Program, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationís (FDA) Rapid Response Team (RRT) Pilot Project.


This presentation highlights some of the resources developed by the RRT Pilot Project that environmental health professionals can use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their agencyís foodborne illness response team. The RRT Pilot Project is a series of multi-year cooperative agreements between FDA and nine states: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The RRTs completed a nationally reviewed, seven-chapter manual of best practices in 2011. The manual shares concepts and tools that the RRTs found to be key to effective food/feed emergency responses.† Chapter topics include multiagency coordination, training programs, multi-agency inspections, communication, food emergency response planning, traceback investigations, and the use of Incident Command System (ICS) concepts.†


Finally, this presentation will explore strategies that agencies can use for long-term sustainability of food emergency response capabilities during tight budget times.