The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) is a multidisciplinary working group convened to increase collaboration across the country and across relevant areas of expertise in order to reduce the burden of foodborne illness in the United States. The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) co-chair CIFOR with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illness affects one in six Americans annually. Of the estimated 48 million who become sick from a foodborne illness each year, 128,000 thousand people are hospitalized and 3,000 individuals die. Many organizations are involved in efforts to mitigate the effects of these illnesses on public health. Outbreak identification and investigation is one of the key areas where multidisciplinary public health professionals must collaborate. CIFOR was created to develop and share guidelines, processes, and products that will facilitate good foodborne outbreak response.
In the Spotlight:
New! Second Edition of the CIFOR Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response
The Second Edition of the CIFOR Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response (CIFOR Guidelines) is now available. These guidelines incorporate many significant changes that have occurred in the foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak investigation framework since the first edition of the Guidelines was published in 2009. Examples of additions and changes include information about the Food Safety Modernization Act; new information about model practices in outbreak investigation and response; updated statistics, references and examples; and enhanced alignment between the Guidelines and the Toolkit. The Guidelines were developed by a broad range of foodborne disease experts from local, state and federal agencies to aid government agencies responsible for investigating, managing and preventing foodborne disease. Learn more.
New! Development of Target Ranges for Selected Performance Measures in the CIFOR Guidelines
Chapter 8 of the CIFOR Guidelines was developed for use by state and local public health agencies to evaluate the performance of their foodborne disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and control programs. Standardized performance criteria and metrics promote a common understanding of the key elements of surveillance, outbreak investigation, and control activities, facilitate training of staff, and allow for the aggregation of data to evaluate program effectiveness and identify specific needs for improvement.
The aim of the metrics project was to develop specific metrics and target ranges for 16 selected performance indicators in Chapter 8 of the Guidelines to help agencies demonstrate their public health performance and effectiveness for foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak control activities. The project outputs include an abridged version of the 16 metrics and target ranges and the full project report which describes the methodologies used to develop the 16 metrics and target ranges. Learn more.
CIFOR Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Managers of Food Establishments (CIFOR Industry Guideline)
The CIFOR Industry Guidelines were developed as voluntary guidance for owners, operators, and managers of retail food establishments ("Industry") to help outline, clarify, and explain Industry's recommended role in a foodborne illness outbreak investigation. The document provides step-by-step approaches to important aspects of outbreak response such as preparation, detection, investigation, control, and follow-up. By using the CIFOR Industry Guidelines and its tools, Industry can take an active and educated role in outbreak response and investigation thereby reducing negative health impact to the public and negative economic impact to their businesses. Learn more.
Featured Clearinghouse Tools:
CIFOR Lab-Epi Integrated Reporting Software
The CIFOR Lab-Epi Integrated Reporting software is an open source application that analyzes patient laboratory (e.g. serotype, subtype or other) results to identify patterns or clusters that would suggest a possible foodborne outbreak or situation of interest. The CIFOR Lab-Epi Integrated Reporting software is intended as a tool for epidemiologists or public health personnel conducting disease surveillance for foodborne pathogens to more quickly identify potential clusters of enteric illness within their own jurisdiction. Learn more.