The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) recently released a new data entry tool to support state and local health departments and partner agencies in measuring their food safety progress. In collaboration with the Minnesota Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence (CoE) and CoE Metrics Work Group, and through a contract managed by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), CIFOR developed the CIFOR Metrics Entry Tool (C-MET). C-MET allows officials from states, large cities, and counties to anonymously input their performance data, on 16 different food defense related activities ranging from epidemiology to laboratory disciplines.
By entering their metrics into C-MET on an annual basis, each participating jurisdiction will be able to better measure their individual progress over time. Aggregated data for each metric will also be available to all participating jurisdictions and the general public, providing health officials an additional way to gauge the capacity and value of their local food safety efforts by comparing it with national progress.
A limited number of database administrators will be able to access and analyze C-MET data by population category, geographic region, participation in various food safety programs, and type of jurisdiction (e.g. local or state). Their analysis will help identify nationwide gaps, which can guide development of additional training, resources, and tools to improve foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak response efforts.