CORE Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
The following is a list of outbreak investigations being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams. The investigations are in a variety of stages, meaning that some outbreaks have limited information, and others may be near completion.
A public health advisory will be issued for outbreak investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves. Please direct your attention to those pages for the most up to date information on the investigation and for consumer protection information.
Outbreak investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors. If a source and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings.
Date Posted: Date the outbreak is posted to the table. This happens once CORE begins to actively coordinate an investigation. In collaboration with federal and state partners, CORE initiates response activities to control the outbreak.
Reference Number: This number is assigned to incidents that CORE is working on. Each foodborne illness outbreak on the table will have a unique reference number and this is provided to help users of this table differentiate between outbreaks. Those reference numbers beginning with an “E” have carried over from an older numbering system that will not be used by CORE in the future.
Pathogen: A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease.
Product(s) Linked to Illnesses (if any): During an outbreak investigation, the FDA and CDC, along with state and local authorities collect and analyze three types of information: epidemiological information, laboratory analyses of food and/or samples taken from food production environments, and traceback investigation findings. Each outbreak is unique and the information available to investigators varies from outbreak to outbreak – however, through rigorous analysis of the information collected, investigators are often able to identify a likely or confirmed food source of an outbreak. It is important to note that before a specific food is linked to an outbreak, the investigation of a commodity or a specific food by the FDA, CDC and state and local partners does not mean that the food is the cause of an outbreak. In many cases the investigation is also looking to rule out specific foods even as it identifies the particular suspect. If there is evidence that a specific food is linked to illnesses, it will be reflected here and health authorities will warn the public about that food.
Total Case Count: Updated weekly. The case count is provided to the FDA by the CDC. Case counts are dynamic and the exact number of illnesses constantly changes during an investigation. This number is provided in order to provide an estimate of the size of an outbreak each week. More formalized data will be published in CDC Investigation Notices or in FDA and CDC outbreak advisories, should they be posted.
Investigation Status: Communicates whether this outbreak is still under investigation by CORE or the investigational activities have ended. Options for this column would be either “Active” or “Closed”. At times an FDA investigation may be active after an outbreak has ended.
Outbreak Status: Communicates whether this outbreak is ongoing or has ended.
Recall Initiated: A recall occurs when a firm takes a product off the market because there is reason to believe that it may cause consumers to become ill. In some situations, FDA may request the company recall a potentially contaminated food. In other situations, FDA may issue a mandatory recall if there is a reasonable probability that the food is adulterated under certain FDA authorities, and that the food could cause serious illnesses or death.
Traceback Initiated: Used to identify the source and distribution of the implicated food and remove the contaminated product from the marketplace, to distinguish between two or more implicated food products, and to determine potential routes and/or sources of contamination in order to prevent future illnesses.
On-site Inspection Initiated: Includes, among other things, a review of operational processes and samples are collected from food products or the environments where the food was grown, processed, transported or stored (countertops, equipment, bins etc.).
Collection & Analysis of SamplesInitiated: collection and analysis of samples for the presence or absence of a pathogen in a food or in the environment surrounding the food.
Who to Contact if you Have Symptoms of Foodborne Illness