For Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials

Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)

What are the Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)?

RRTs are multi-agency, multi-disciplinary teams that operate using Incident Command System (ICS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS) principles and a Unified Command structure to respond to human and animal food emergencies.

Why establish RRTs? 

The desired outcome of RRT development is to minimize the time between agency notification of a human or animal food contamination event and implementation of effective control measures. To accomplish this, RRTs develop and maintain processes to:

  • Prepare for and effectively respond to foodborne illness outbreaks and other food emergencies.
  • Enhance intra-agency and interagency collaboration and communication.
  • Jointly train and exercise staff to be ready to respond to events when they occur.
  • Identify potential preventive practices to reduce foodborne illness and injury.
  • Establish national best practices and tools that can be shared with other states to improve their response to food emergencies.

Which states currently have RRTs?

RRT states  map 12-14-18 

United States Map of current participants in the Rapid Response Team cooperative agreement program: CA, GA, IA, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV. NM, NY, and TN participate in a voluntary, non-funded capacity


How can I obtain a copy of the RRT Best Practices Manual? 

The RRT Best Practices Manual features tools that can be used by programs to improve key areas of response such as communication, traceback and traceforward, laboratory analysis, and joint investigations and inspections.  It also establishes metrics for rapid response capabilities that allow RRTs to assess their status, identify improvement plans, and quantify accomplishments and impact.  

The full version of the RRT Best Practices Manual (2017 Edition) can be obtained by clicking here. Questions, comments and feedback regarding the RRT Manual are welcome; please direct feedback to

What funding is in place to support RRTs?

FDA provides multi-year cooperative agreements to states to form and maintain RRTs. These cooperative agreements require RRTs to engage partners across disciplines and jurisdictions to build core capabilities and explore innovative approaches to response.

What animal and human food emergencies have RRTs assisted with?  

RRT responses and activations show how strengthened collaboration and capabilities can have a meaningful impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of a response:

Who do I contact for more information?

More information can be found in the funding opportunity announcement.

Specific questions on this program can be directed to the appropriate Office of Partnerships' contact. Division of Partnership Investments and Agreements

General questions can be directed to



Page Last Updated: 03/20/2019
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