Guidance Provided for Reporting Foodborne Illness

Health care professionals should generally report foodborne illness to county, city health department.
Health care professionals should generally report foodborne illness to county, city health department.

HealthDay News — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidance for health care professionals on reporting foodborne illnesses.

Through a collaborative effort between several health agencies, including the CDC, guidelines have been developed for diagnosis and management of foodborne illness. Health care professionals should report foodborne illness to their county or city health department in most cases. Almost everywhere in the United States, infection with Salmonella, Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC, including 0157 and other serogroups), Listeria, Shigella, Vibrio, hepatitis A virus, and botulism are reportable. Other pathogens and hemolytic uremic syndrome infection may be reportable. 

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States voluntarily report nationally notifiable conditions to the CDC. These conditions are updated annually by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists, with recommendations from the CDC. Often, until laboratory tests are completed, diagnoses remain unconfirmed. However, illness outbreaks that are suspected to have a common cause, such as food, and suspected foodborne individual illnesses should be reported.

"By investigating foodborne disease outbreaks, public health officials learn about possible problems in food production, distribution, and preparation that may lead to illness, and as a result, food can be made safer," according to the CDC.

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