The CIFOR Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response,
originally published in 2009 and revised in 2014, was developed to help
local and state public health, environmental health, and food regulatory
agencies and laboratories improve their foodborne disease outbreak
response activities and harmonize foodborne disease investigation work
across the United States.
The Guidelines was developed by an interdisciplinary workgroup from
around the country with expertise in epidemiology, environmental health,
food regulation, and laboratory sciences. The workgroup included
representatives from the local, state, and federal level and academia.
The CIFOR Guidelines describes the major functions that should occur
before, during, and after a foodborne disease outbreak including planning and preparation, disease
surveillance and outbreak detection, investigation of clusters and outbreaks, and control measures. It
provides useful background information on these functions and the rationale for various activities. The
Guidelines also describes a range of practices, applicable to the investigation of and response to foodrelated
emergencies of local, state, and national significance, from which agencies and jurisdictions might
choose to improve their foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak response performance.
Appropriate and effective foodborne disease outbreak response activities for a particular agency or
jurisdiction depend on a host of factors including staff expertise, organizational structure, and resources as
well as the unique circumstances of each outbreak. Given the volume and diversity of recommendations
included in the CIFOR Guidelines, selecting the most appropriate or feasible practices to implement in an
agency or jurisdiction could be challenging; thus, the CIFOR Guidelines Toolkit has been created.