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  1. Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

Note: Not all recalls and alerts result in an outbreak of foodborne illness. Check recent Food Recalls and Safety Alerts.

The following is a list of outbreak and adverse event investigations primarily being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams. The investigations are in a variety of stages, meaning that some have limited information, while others may be near completion.

A public health advisory will be issued for investigations that have resulted in specific, actionable steps for consumers to take to protect themselves. Please direct your attention to those pages for the most up to date information on the investigation and for consumer protection information.

Outbreak and adverse event investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors. Adverse event investigations rely on self-reported data. Although these reports may name a particular product, FDA will only indicate a product category in the table and will not publicly name a specific product until there is sufficient evidence to implicate that product as a cause of illnesses or adverse events. If a cause and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings.

What's New

  • For the investigation with reference number 1064, the total adverse event reports increased to 558.
  • The outbreak of Norovirus linked to the consumption of Raw Oysters has ended and FDA’s investigation has closed. Outbreaks associated with shellfish are managed by the FDA Division of Seafood Safety, not CORE Response Teams. This outbreak was included here for the convenience of the consumer and has been removed from the table.
  • For the investigation of Cronobacter illnesses linked to powdered infant formula the Event Status has been changed to Ended. On May 12, 2022, CDC announced that its investigation is closed, with no additional related cases identified. Although CORE is no longer investigating this incident, the FDA established an Incident Management Group (IMG) on April 1, 2022, to continue to work on supply chain and food safety issues.
  • For the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes (reference #1040), the Investigation Status is now Closed as of May 18, 2022, because there is not enough evidence to identify a vehicle. The Outbreak Status is listed as Ongoing because the most recent date an illness began is April 20, 2022, and it can take several weeks to months for someone to have symptoms of listeriosis after being infected. CDC will continue to monitor for additional illnesses and the investigation will be transferred back to a CORE Response Team if new illnesses are reported and new information is available to investigate.
Date
Posted
Reference
#
Pathogen or
Cause of Illness

 
Product(s)
Linked to
Illnesses

(if any)
Total
Case Count
Investigation
Status
Outbreak/Event
Status
Recall
Initiated
Traceback
Initiated
On-Site
Inspection
Initiated
Sample Collection
&
Analysis Initiated
4/20/2022 1064 Not Yet
Identified
Dry Cereal 558 adverse
event reports
Active Ongoing
See Advice
   
4/13/2022 1057 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Yet
Identified
19 Active Ongoing
See Advice
     
3/30/2022 1060 Not Yet
Identified
Meal Replacement
Drink
6 adverse
event reports
Active Ongoing
See Advice
   
3/16/2022 1055 Salmonella
Saintpaul
Not Identified 60 Closed Ended
See Advice
     
2/17/2022 1056 Cronobacter
sakazakii
Powdered
Infant
Formula
See
Advisory
Active (IMG) Ended
See
Advisory
2/9/2022 1040 Listeria
monocytogenes
Not Identified 20 Closed Ongoing
See Advice
 
2/2/2022 1054 Enteroinvasive
E. coli
O143:H26
Not
Identified
16 Closed Ended
See Advice
     
1/10/2022 1050 E. coli
O121:H19
Romaine 4 Closed Ended      
12/29/2021 1052 E. coli
O157:H7
Packaged
Salad
See Outbreak
Advisory
Closed

Ended
See Outbreak
Advisory

 
12/20/2021 1039 Listeria
monocytogenes
Packaged
Salad
See Outbreak
Advisory
Closed Ended
See Outbreak
Advisory
See Outbreak
Advisory
12/15/2021 1048 Listeria
monocytogenes
Packaged
Salad
See Outbreak
Advisory
Closed Ended
See Outbreak
Advisory
See Outbreak
Advisory

Related Links


Table Definitions:

  • Date Posted: Date the investigation is posted to the table. This happens once CORE begins to actively coordinate an investigation. In collaboration with federal and state partners, CORE initiates response activities to control the outbreak or adverse events.
  • Reference Number: This number is assigned to incidents that CORE is working on. Each foodborne illness investigation on the table will have a unique reference number and this is provided to help users of this table differentiate between investigations. Those reference numbers beginning with an “E” have carried over from an older numbering system that will not be used by CORE in the future.
  • Pathogen or Cause of Illness: A bacterium, virus, other microorganism, toxin, or other contaminant that can cause disease.
  • Product(s) Linked to Illnesses (if any): During an outbreak or adverse event investigation, the FDA and CDC, along with state and local authorities collect and analyze three types of information: epidemiological information, laboratory analyses of food and/or samples taken from food production environments, and traceback investigation findings. Each outbreak or adverse event is unique and the information available to investigators varies from outbreak to outbreak – however, through rigorous analysis of the information collected, investigators are often able to identify a likely or confirmed food source of an outbreak or adverse events. It is important to note that before a specific food is linked to an outbreak or adverse events, the investigation of a commodity or a specific food by the FDA, CDC and state and local partners does not mean that the food is the cause of an outbreak or adverse events. In many cases the investigation is also looking to rule out specific foods even as it identifies the particular suspect. If there is evidence that a specific food is linked to illnesses, it will be reflected here and health authorities will warn the public about that food.
  • Total Case Count: Updated weekly. For outbreak investigations, the case count is provided to the FDA by the CDC. Case counts are dynamic and the exact number of illnesses constantly changes during an investigation. This number is provided in order to provide an estimate of the size of an outbreak each week. In the case of adverse event investigations, FDA will provide the number of adverse events that have been self-reported by consumers to FDA consumer complaint coordinators and the CFSAN Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS), which could include duplicate reports. More formalized data will be published in CDC Investigation Notices or in FDA and CDC advisories, should they be posted.
  • Investigation Status: Communicates whether this outbreak is still under investigation by CORE or the investigational activities have ended. Options for this column would be either “Active” or “Closed”. At times an FDA investigation may be active after an outbreak has ended.
  • Outbreak/Event Status: Communicates whether this outbreak or series of adverse event reports is ongoing or has ended.
  • Recall Initiated: A recall occurs when a firm takes a product off the market because there is reason to believe that it may cause consumers to become ill. In some situations, FDA may request the company recall a potentially contaminated food. In other situations, FDA may issue a mandatory recall if there is a reasonable probability that the food is adulterated under certain FDA authorities, and that the food could cause serious illnesses or death.
  • Traceback Initiated: Used to identify the source and distribution of the implicated food and remove the contaminated product from the marketplace, to distinguish between two or more implicated food products, and to determine potential routes and/or sources of contamination in order to prevent future illnesses.
  • On-site Inspection Initiated: Includes, among other things, a review of operational processes and samples are collected from food products or the environments where the food was grown, processed, transported or stored (countertops, equipment, bins etc.).
  • Collection & Analysis of Samples Initiated: collection and analysis of samples for the presence or absence of a pathogen in a food or in the environment surrounding the food.

Who to Contact if you Have Symptoms of Foodborne Illness

Consumers who have symptoms of foodborne illness should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you have three choices:

Visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional consumer and industry assistance.

 

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