Most reported foodborne outbreaks occur in retail food establishments like restaurants. A recent MMWR said that from 2014 to 2016, 16 state and local public health departments reported 404 of these kinds of outbreaks to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS). Most of the outbreaks were of viral illnesses, such as norovirus.
This is the first surveillance summary of NEARS data released. These data, reported by state and local outbreak investigators, come from outbreak investigations in restaurants, banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions.
Proper hand hygiene and stopping sick food workers from working can reduce viral foodborne illness outbreaks. NEARS data can help prioritize training and interventions for state and local food safety programs and the retail food establishment industry by identifying gaps in food safety policies and practices. Learn about the outbreaks and gaps CDC found in retail food safety practices and outbreak investigations.