State Surveillance of Foodborne Illness

In an effort to determine states’ capacity to track produce-related cases of foodborne illness and gain a better understanding of how states conduct investigations of outbreaks, the Produce Safety Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University, commissioned Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P.) to conduct a survey of state health departments.

The survey was sent to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 39 responded. The survey requested 2007 data on the types of questionnaires administered by state health departments to foodborne-illness victims, the time frame in which they were completed, the types of questions asked, and how states collected and stored the resulting data. These elements are key in the effective identification of the source of a foodborne illness.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Produce Safety Project's Web site, or visit the Produce Safety Project on