The Food Safety Modernization Act
(FSMA) became law in 2011 and is the most sweeping revision to our food safety laws in generations. Under the law, CDC was directed to designate five Integrated Food Safety "Centers of Excellence" which form partnerships between designated state health departments and academic institutions. The Oregon Public Health Division is part of one of those five centers, called the Northwest Center for Foodborne Outbreak Management, Epidemiology and Surveillance (FOMES)
Foodborne and diarrheal illness is a signficant public health problem in the United States and around the world. Each year, tens of millions of Americans are sickened with these illnesses; tens of thousands are hositalized; and several thousand die. Foodborne pathogens include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157, and many more. Illnesses occur both sporadically and in clusters (outbreaks). Outbreaks can occur as the result of exposure to contaminated food, water, animals, or from person-to-person spread. See CDC estimates of foodborne illnesses.
Our goals include:
- Evaluating and improving outbreak surveillance and investigations,
- Strengthening the relevant capacity of health department information systems,
- Creating useful outbreak investigation tools,
- Facilitating the training of public health staff, and
- Nurturing the current and future public health workforce.
FOMES supports collaborative efforts with other local, state, and federal public health agencies. Collectively, these activities will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of disease surveillance and outbreak investigations. FOMES is funded by taxpayers through the CDC.