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The Power of Two

CDC’s New Doodad?

Published January 13, 2014 2:59 PM by Eleanor Wolfram
The National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) is not a new fangled doodad, doohickey, or thingamajig government agency. In fact NVEAIS is the brainchild of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and will have an innovative role in detecting and educating about methods to reduce foodborne illnesses in a more expedient manner.

The CDC estimates that >9 million foodborne illnesses occur each year. The government estimates a cost of $77.7 billion in economic burdens due to foodborne pathogens.

Beginning 2014, NVEAIS is set to target these problems early and reduce the cost of intervention and treatment. If you are interested in the microbial aspects of food safety, the NVEAIS surveillance system and multiple e-Learning courses will debut in early 2014.

I like the direction in which CDC is headed in digging deeper into the underlying factors of food outbreaks. It seems that after reviewing countless public health report on foodborne outbreaks they have narrowed the probable causal agents and are looking to identify the gaps preventing the problems. Wise move, because we all know that prevention less costly than treatment in these cases.

The CDC is taking a two-pong approach to identifying and preventing outbreaks.  The first step will begin in 2014 with the  NVEAIS working collaboratively with schools, restaurants, hotels, manufacturers  and other food enterprises to capture underlying environmental assessment data that describes what happened and how events most likely lead to a foodborne outbreak.

CDC's second step will be to provide free interactive e-Learning course that is geared toward state and local health departments to help investigate foodborne illness outbreaks in food service establishments as a member of a larger outbreak response team; to identify an outbreak's environmental causes; and to recommend appropriate control measures. These courses will be made available to both professionals and the general public.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram

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