This outline has been designed as on aid to public-health workers who find it necessary to investigate a reported outbreak of foodborne disease. It is not intended to supplant the health officer or trained epidemiologist. Its purpose, rather, is to assist them in epidemiological investigations where foods may be involved, by suggesting to other public-health personnel who may be called upon to assist, procedures which will assure proper collection and preservation of relevant data, samples, and exhibits.
U. S. Public Health Service records indicate that many outbreaks of foodborne diseases cannot be included in its official summaries because the reported data are incomplete. Foodborne diseases are not investigated because of a lock of trained, “on-the-spot” personnel. It is hoped that this outline will be of material assistance to health officers, epidemiologists, veterinarians, sanitarians, and other public-health workers in their investigations of an outbreak of foodborne disease.
For these reasons, the scope of the outline is limited to those matters which require prompt action, such as locating and interviewing exposed individuals, securing menu data and samples of leftover foods, preserving, identifying, and submitting proper samples to the laboratory, etc. In addition, public-health workers who do not hove available the services of a trained epidemiologist will find herein guidance which may enable them to attempt to complete investigation and analysis of on outbreak of foodborne disease.
In view of the fact that this Procedure is still in draft stage and because of lock of space in the Journal the various report forms, the classification of illnesses attributable to foods, and the list of references pertaining to foodborne disease (all of which will be included in the final document) are deleted from this printing.
Distribution of the current draft of the Procedure will be limited to each state and territorial eqidemiologist for their review, and also to each of those who provided special technical assistance in its development. Suggestions for improvment of this Procedure should be sent to Dr. R. J. Helig, U. S. Public Health Service, Washington 25, D. C before March 1, 1956 in order that they can be considered by the Committee on Communicable Diseases Affecting Man in preparing the Procedure for final form. Printed copies of the complete manual are expected to be available at the time of the next Annual Meeting of this Association in Seattle Washington.
1This Procedure contains changes suggested by. the Association of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and has been endorsed in principle by this Association..
2Membership of Committee: R. J. Helvig, Chairman; H. L. Bryson; Raymond Fagan; John H. Fritz; Stanley L. Hendricks; Harry G. Hodges; E. R. Price; H. H. Rothe; T. E. Sullivan.