Guidance on managing foodborne disease issued
Monday 11 February 2008
The Food Standards Agency has published revised guidance on the management of outbreaks of foodborne illness in England and Wales.
The guidance is aimed at Environmental Health professionals, Consultants in Communicable Disease Control, and others involved in the investigation and management of outbreaks of foodborne illness.
The new guidance, published under section 20 of the Food Standards Act 1999, updates the Department of Health document Management of Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness, published in 1994. The main changes in the revision relate to the organisations involved in the control of foodborne disease and their roles and responsibilities. They take account of the establishment of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2000 and the creation of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in 2004. The guidance also reflects post-devolution arrangements in Wales.
While roles and responsibilities have changed, much of the practical advice contained in the earlier document still stands. The guidance covers matters such as the arrangements that should be in place in advance of an outbreak; ways in which outbreaks are detected; investigation and control of an outbreak, including microbiological sampling and epidemiological investigations; and communications.
The revised text is based on a workshop for health professionals involved in the management of outbreaks of foodborne illness held in October 2005 and the work of an editorial team representing FSA, the HPA's Local and Regional Services Directorate and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.