Online Program

2011 ground Turkey outbreak: Recommendations on how to improve surveillance and control of salmonella in the United States

Monday, November 4, 2013

Juliana Ruzante, DVM PhD, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washignton, DC
Sandra Eskin, JD, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washignton, DC
A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to ground turkey in 2011 sickened 136 persons, causing 37 hospitalizations and one death. The Pew Charitable Trusts'recent analysis of the outbreak found numerous inadequacies in the foodborne-illness surveillance system that, if addressed, could help to prevent foodborne-related illnesses and, in some cases, save lives. Based on its analysis, Pew makes three general recommendations for improving Salmonella outbreak detection and response: i) Federal and state officials should make the detection of and response to Salmonella outbreaks a priority by creating an enhanced surveillance system for this bacterium; ii) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should modify the retail arm of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System so that it can be used for outbreak detection and response. Specifically, FDA should require that the brand, processing plant information and purchase date for meat and poultry retail samples are included when the DNA fingerprint of their bacteria isolates are uploaded onto PulseNet. Moreover, the DNA fingerprints should be uploaded in a more timely fashion; and iii) CDC, as well as state authorities, must engage with food companies in the early stages of an outbreak investigation to obtain information, such as production schedules and distribution patterns, which can assist investigators in more quickly identifying contaminated foods. While resource constraints could make these recommendations difficult for some states to achieve, in light of the staggering health-related costs of foodborne illnesses, stopping outbreaks as soon as possible will save and protect the public.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the 2011 ground turkey outbreak associated with Salmonella Identify areas for improving surveillance of foodborne salmonellosis Provide recommendations to the CDC and states on how to enhance surveillance of Salmonella

Keyword(s): Food Safety, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the author of this report
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3206.1: Human-Animal Health