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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:

CIFOR is pleased to announce the release of the Outbreaks of Undetermined Etiology (OUE) Guidelines.

The OUE Guidelines are designed to provide recommendations on "universal" collection, shipment, testing, and retention of foodborne outbreak specimens in the event that an etiology is elusive, even in the early stages of an investigation.

The OUE Guidelines cover both infectious and non-infectious agents, and are primarily intended for state health departments that would be making recommendations on specimen collection for foodborne outbreaks. The OUE Guidelines may also be appropriate for some local health departments.

A companion OUE Agent List provides detailed information on infectious and non-infectious agents that can be responsible for foodborne illness. The OUE Guidelines are available on the here and can be accessed as a FileMaker Go iOS application or a runtime Windows version for PC. Learn More

Featured Clearinghouse Tools:

CIFOR Toolkit Focus Area 11: Food Recall

The CIFOR Toolkit Focus Area 11: Food Recall worksheet comes from the toolkit for the CIFOR Guidelines for Foodborne Outbreak Response. The worksheet assists agencies/jurisdictions to ensure that the food implicated in an outbreak is removed from the market, retail establishments, and the homes of consumers as quickly as possible. 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.