Three Types of Data
When a foodborne outbreak is detected, public health and regulatory officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to find out what is making people sick.
What restaurants, grocery stores, or events did sick people go to?
Is there anything about the food production facilities, farms, or restaurants that made germs likely to spread?
Food and Environmental Testing Data
Do the germs found in the food or food production environment have the same DNA fingerprints as germs found in sick people?
Actions to Stop the Outbreak
Outbreak investigators take actions to protect the public when there is clear and convincing information showing that people got sick from the same contaminated food.
Restaurants or food production facilities close temporarily
Investigators don’t solve every outbreak. Sometimes outbreaks end before enough information is gathered to identify the contaminated food. Outbreak investigators are constantly developing new ways to investigate and solve outbreaks faster.