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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! CIFOR Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Managers of Food Establishments (CIFOR Industry Guideline)

Law ProjectThe 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.


This project was supported under Cooperative Agreement# U60HM000803 between the Association of Public Health Laboratories and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the developers and do not necessarily represent the official views of APHL or CDC.