CDC launches improved outbreak search tool
New maps, interactive features and a search function provide two decades of data.
CDC’s redesigned online foodborne outbreak search tool—named the Foodborne Outbreak Online Database Tool or FOOD Tool—includes bold interactive features that allow users to comb through nearly 20 years of outbreak data sorted by state, food or germ.
Originally launched in 2009, the recently updated tool includes national data from all outbreaks reported to CDC from 1998 through 2014. New interactive features including maps, graphs and tables that allow users to search by specific foods and ingredients, view a “quick stats” display and get case counts for multistate outbreaks.
According to CDC, an estimated one in six Americans gets sick from foodborne illness every year. From Listeria in ice cream, cheese and cucumbers to Salmonella found in cucumbers, tuna and frozen chicken, hundreds of Americans have reported falling ill after eating contaminated food this year alone.
“Tracking and reporting outbreak information is critical to understanding how foodborne illness affects America’s health,” CDC says. “During an outbreak, public health investigators can use the database to help point them toward possible contaminated food sources by searching foods and the germs implicated in past outbreaks.”
The FOOD Tool lets users search foodborne disease data by year, state, location of food preparation, food and ingredient, and cause. Information provided includes the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, deaths, the germs and the cause—confirmed or suspected.
The FOOD Tool can be found by visiting: www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/index.html.