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September 2011
Policy and Advocacy
FDA Rolls Out New Foodborne Illness Response Network

A new streamlined system announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September is designed to respond more efficiently and rapidly to human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks.

The Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network will allow for more consistency in monitoring and investigating outbreaks, as well as streamline decision making and improve food safety practices, while building on lessons learned from previous outbreaks, FDA said in a press release.

The CORE Network includes epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists, emergency coordinators, and risk communications specialists. Investigators in FDA field offices will complement CORE’s efforts, which will be coordinated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state public health and agriculture agencies.

CORE will be led by Kathleen F. Gensheimer, MD, MPH, FIDSA, who serves in the new position of chief medical officer/outbreak director. Dr. Gensheimer, a recognized leader in public health, was recently the state epidemiologist for Maine. She has served on numerous IDSA committees, including the Bioemergencies Task Force, Bioterrorism Work Group, National & Global Public Health Committee, Emerging Infections Committee, Public Policy Committee, and the Pandemic Influenza Task Force.

“A real benefit of the network approach is enhancing communication and coordination with federal, state, and local food safety agencies, as well as industry and consumers,” Dr. Gensheimer said in FDA’s press release. “Given my background at the state public health level, this is a major priority for me.”

For more information, visit the CORE website.
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