Q: What is the Health Department's Foodborne Illness process?
A: Local health department
"Local health officers may do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease;..."
- Conduct the initial investigation of a suspected outbreak.
- Provide direction to food establishment operators regarding the application and removal of food employee exclusions and restrictions.
- Obtain laboratory specimens, conduct interviews, compile line lists, record onset times and other important epidemiologic data.
- Provide education to food workers regarding proper food handling and personal hygiene.
- Establish a point of contact (P.O.C.)
The procedure for the investigation and determination of the existence of an outbreak is reasonably standard regardless of the disease being investigated. The steps listed below are not sequential and some contingency planning can be done before an outbreak. The steps in this procedure include:
- preparation for a detailed epidemiologic investigation
- establish the existence of an outbreak or epidemic
- verify diagnosis
- formulate a tentative hypothesis
- put control measures into operation
- conduct the investigation
- relate the outbreak to time, place and person
- analyze and interpret data
- test hypothesis and formulate conclusions
- prepare a final report of the investigation