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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

What if there was a foodborne illness outbreak and nobody came?

In 2010 “Team Diarrhea’s” funding was jeopardized by funding cuts.  Now the Minnesota Government may just shut them down instead of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires to support foodborne illness investigations. This is what landed in the mail boxes of Minnesota’s public servants last week:

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Cutting staff and funding for this group, not only hurts Minnesota, but also the rest of the country’s food safety battles as well. Don’t take it from me, look at press coverage of this remarkable group:

“Team Diarrhea” Follows a Trail of Sickness Caused by Tainted Food

Team Diarrhea: A model for food detectives around the country

When food illnesses spread, Minnesota team gets the call

Team D Super Sleuths

Klobuchar introduces food-safety measure: ‘Team Diarrhea’ to the rescue

Team Diarrhea: A model for food detectives around country

‘Team D’ is Model for Outbreak Investigations

As someone has said before, “a penny wise and a dollar foolish.”

  • http://www.safefoodsblog.com Roy Costa

    Sure they will lose funding, they are successful at pointing the right finger at the food industry, they are a threat to the food business and make your job easier, the big food companies have one of the most effective lobbies in the US, so they have to go.

  • Jeff Almer

    Having seen firsthand what this incredible group of food sleuths can do, it pains me to see food safety once again get short shrift. Here we go again with the reactive way of handling things.
    Team D was instrumental in stopping other deaths from occurring during the Peanut Corp Of America salmonella outbreak. While they cannot stop the greed of someone like former CEO Stewart Parnell–now of Creative Snacks in North Carolina; they certainly put a halt to the sickness by tracing the source.
    The outbreak had been going on for months when my late mother Shirley and the late Clifford Tousignant both consumed PCA’s rancid product. When Minnesota people started getting sick and dying; that’s when Team D went to work and quickly figured it out.
    Perhaps Minnesota can cut the program and we can save money by following an example state such as Arkansas’s model. Meaning, just call the sick people and find out what county they were sickened in. Yeah, that’s the way to deal with tummy aches.
    I understand that hard choices need to be made but let’s roll the dice, it’s Russian roulette time again with our food!

  • Doc Mudd

    This is a discouraging prospect, indeed.
    We’d better hang onto that contact information for the Robert Koch Institute in Germany. If we lose Team D., at the next outbreak we will give the Koch detectives a jingle and one of them can probably diagnose the trouble right over the phone. Why not, we’ve outsourced about every other support service…and we all know how well that’s been working out for us.
    Have no fear; if we keep calling and they keep guessing odds are decent they will eventually guess correctly. Persistence is key. The tricky part will be to stop calling after the correct guess is offered.

  • Gabrielle Meunier

    Team Diarrhea should be leading the nation along with the Oregon team. It should be funded and coordinated on a federal level with teams in each state.