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Annual Report to the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, 2012
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    Summary -- Introduction -- Working Group Activities – FY 2012 -- Selection Criteria for Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence -- Figure 1: Desired CoE capabilities based on the commentary of the BSC FSMA-SWG -- Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration -- Improving Foodborne Illness Surveillance Systems: Focus Areas for Future Discussion -- Governmental Coordination and Integration of Foodborne Surveillance -- Evaluating and Improving Surveillance Systems -- Enhancing Communication and Collaboration among Partners and External Stakeholders -- Resources -- Next Steps -- Appendix 1: Surveillance Working Group (Members) -- Appendix 2: Centers of Excellence Duties and Capabilities -- Appendix 3: Selected CDC Accomplishments in Implementing FSMA Surveillance Requirements -- Appendix 4: 2011 Recalls -- Appendix 5: New Food Vehicles in the United States Identified as Risk Factors -- References .

    The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) authorized CDC to create a diverse Working Group of experts and stakeholders to provide routine and ongoing guidance to improve foodborne illness surveillance systems in the United States. This report summarizes the Working Group’s activities during its first year, FY 2012.

    The Working Group met twice for two days each at CDC, providing guidance on selection criteria for the FSMA-mandated Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence, reviewing and providing feedback on the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration strategic plan and on several CDC FSMA-related initiatives to enhance foodborne disease surveillance, and identifying priority areas to focus on in the coming years. The Working Group recognized that since the passage of FSMA, considerable progress has been made in collaboration around foodborne illness surveillance, but felt further improvement in surveillance is needed and could be made in a number of areas including

    • Interagency linkages and coordination at local, state, federal, and tribal levels;

    • Development and use of meaningful foodborne illness surveillance performance measures;

    • More complete collection, standardization, and analysis of information on factors contributing to foodborne illness;

    • Response to the potential loss of the ability to track and link organisms to detect outbreaks and suspect foods due to increased use of culture-independent diagnostic tests;

    • Building of state and local surveillance capacity on which national surveillance is based; and

    • Communication with partners and external stakeholders, especially when investigating and responding to widespread outbreaks affecting many states.

    In the course of its work, the Working Group repeatedly noted the importance of national and state/local surveillance for foodborne illness and that the data gathered are critical to detecting outbreaks and new food vehicles causing illness; to monitoring the safety of the food supply; and to directing risk-based food safety efforts by CDC, FDA, and USDA. Further, the Working Group noted the recent loss of capacity at state and local levels due to the recession and that additional resources will be needed to build on existing surveillance systems, better integrate them, and fill existing and emerging data gaps.

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