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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Corrections and Contributions sought for Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

Welcome to outbreakdatabase.com, a searchable database of illness outbreaks caused by one or more of the following

1. consumption of contaminated foods or beverages,

2. exposure to animals,

3. exposure to contaminated recreational water,

4. person-to-person contact with someone whose illness initiated from animal exposure or consumption of contaminated foods and beverages.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an outbreak as “two or more ill persons linked to a common source” and this serves as the basis of outbreakdatabase.com. To be included in outbreakdatabase.com, the outbreak must have supporting documentation from public health agencies, journal articles, media reports, etc. Names of stores, brands, restaurants, or other sources are listed if they have been publicly identified previously.

The database is a work in progress. It will continually be updated and revised. Significant effort has been made to ensure the data are accurate. We welcome contributions, corrections, comments, etc.

  • Doc Mudd

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an outbreak as “two or more ill persons linked to a common source”
    Exactly. No threshold number of victims, no geographic distribution requirement. If you and I both get sick from any one vendor, that’s significant and it’s as important as an outbreak poisoning hundreds.
    Too bad most ‘small’ outbreaks are never reported to a health department and are never investigated.
    If, as consumers, we all had contact info at our fingertips for local and regional health departments we might make the call. Honestly, right now I don’t have a clue what local health agency I should contact or how to do so. Ironically, there is 911 for fire & police and I have numbers for AAA, Poison Response and Dell tech support always handy.
    Why not require supermarkets, farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs to print local health department contact info on the receipt for every transaction? Seems like common sense and common courtesy.

  • Doc – funny you should mention this. Over at Food Safety News we are developing two new services and pages – One will be to place as many restaurant inspection sites in one place and the other to place local and state health department contact information.

  • Doc Mudd

    Excellent!
    You guys are OK in my book.