U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. For Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials
  3. National Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) Programs and Initiatives
  4. Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)
  1. National Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) Programs and Initiatives

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?

•United States Map displaying 18 FDA funded Rapid Response Team cooperative agreement states: CA, GA, IA, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI.

  • United States Map displaying 18 FDA funded Rapid Response Team cooperative agreement states: CA, GA, IA, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI.
  • CT, NC, NY, PA, TN, and WV 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 op.feedback@fda.hhs.gov.

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?  

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 within the Division of Partnership Investments and Agreements. Please visit the Office of Partnerships Contacts webpage to obtain a downloaded version of the staffing roster. 

General questions can be directed to OP.Feedback@fda.hhs.gov.