FoodNet conducts surveillance for Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and non-O157, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia infections diagnosed by laboratory testing of samples from patients.
The network was established in July 1995 and is a collaborative program among CDC, 10 state health departments, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FoodNet personnel located at state health departments regularly contact the clinical laboratories in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and selected counties in California, Colorado, and New York to get reports of infections diagnosed in residents of these areas. The surveillance area includes 15% of the United States population (47 million persons) and is generally racially and ethnically representative of the entire U.S. population, with only a slight under-representation of Hispanics. FoodNet is the principal foodborne disease component of CDC's Emerging Infections Program.
FoodNet accomplishes its work through active surveillance; surveys of laboratories, physicians, and the general population; and population-based epidemiologic studies. Information from FoodNet is used to assess the impact of food safety initiatives on the burden of foodborne illness. Please see Questions and Answers about 2011 FoodNet Data [PDF - 3 pages] for more information about FoodNet and how the program works.