Anatomy of a Foodborne Outbreak

Online Course
30 minutes
University of Iowa
Upper Midwest PERLC
Public Health Laboratory Testing

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Sentinel laboratories are usually the first to receive patient samples related to foodborne illness and, therefore, they fill a vital role in the early detection and investigation of foodborne outbreaks. In this short course, you will see the story of three victims of illness related to food contamination. By following the steps leading from initial food ingestion, to an epidemiological investigation and the final identification of the contaminated food, you will learn the importance of making timely and appropriate decisions for submissions to the state public health laboratory. The course also offers a training section and a checklist for the detection, isolation, and submission of STECs. When you have completed the course, you will be able to print a certificate suitable for your competency training records.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Recognize the overall community and public health significance of an enteric pathogen from just one patient
  • Explain the process and timeline of a foodborne outbreak
  • Describe the role of sentinel labs in preventing the spread of illness caused by contaminated food
PHEP Capabilities: 
Public Health Laboratory Testing
Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation