U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Food
  3. Recalls, Outbreaks & Emergencies
  4. Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness
  5. Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
  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. If you think you have symptoms of foodborne illness, talk to your healthcare provider and public health officials to provide them with details of what you ate before becoming sick. This often aids in helping solve emerging or ongoing outbreaks.

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

  • An outbreak of Salmonella Africana illnesses (ref # 1227) linked to a not yet identified product has been added to the table. FDA has initiated traceback.  
  • For the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 (ref # 1221) linked to bulk organic walnuts, FDA has initiated an onsite inspection and sample collection and analysis.

Active Investigations

Cause of
Linked to

(if any)
5/22/2024 1227 Salmonella
Not Yet
100 Active Ongoing
4/17/2024 1221 E. coli
Active Ongoing
4/10/2024 1218 Salmonella
Organic Fresh
Active Ongoing

Closed Investigations

Related Links

CDC Investigations

FSIS Investigations

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. Additionally, adverse event investigations rely on self-reported data, which may not include all necessary information to fully investigate the product or event. 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.

FDA 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 help prevent future illnesses. For additional information, see How the FDA Uses Traceback to Respond to Foodborne Illness Outbreaks.

FDA Inspection Initiated: An official examination by FDA of the operational processes of a facility to determine its compliance with federal law, which may include, among other things, record and sample collection. Activities reported on the table are limited to those conducted by FDA; however, state and local partners work in coordination with FDA and may also conduct inspectional activities. Additional information on the different types of inspections conducted by FDA can be found on the FDA website.

FDA Sampling Initiated: Collection of samples for the presence or absence of a pathogen in a food or in the environment surrounding the food. Samples reported on the table include those collected by the FDA or state collected samples that are analyzed by the FDA. Significant sample findings are reviewed by FDA and are reported in Public Health Advisories.

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.



Get email updates delivered to your inbox.

Get regular FDA email updates delivered on this topic to your inbox.

Back to Top