About FoodCORE

Foodborne Diseases Centers for Outbreak Response Enhancement (FoodCORE)  centers work together to develop new and better methods to detect, investigate, respond to, and control multistate outbreaks of foodborne diseases. Efforts are primarily focused on outbreaks caused by bacteria, including Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and Listeria. The ability to detect and investigate viral and parasitic foodborne disease outbreaks will also be strengthened.

Key Areas

  • Enhancement of public health laboratory surveillance
  • Epidemiologic interviews and investigations
  • Environmental health assessments
  • Best practices and replicable models for
    • Detection
    • Investigation
    • Response
    • Control

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FoodCORE Center—Tennessee

Program Overview

The Tennessee Department of Health established the Tennessee-FoodCORE program to improve response to foodborne outbreaks. Tennessee-FoodCORE collaborates with several food safety programs and ensures food safety is a coordinated initiative. Tennessee has a centralized public health infrastructure with 7 regional and 6 metropolitan health offices, representing 95 counties.

Tennessee-FoodCORE has improved surveillance and outbreak investigation activities in the following ways:

1) Increased capacity for centralized interviewing

2) Created a student interview team


1) Provided stool kits to local health offices, ensuring timely specimen collection

2) Partnered with the state laboratory to provide stool collection training


1) Provided National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Reporting System  training to all field staff

 2) Evaluated Tennessee’s Foodborne Outbreak Complaint Surveillance System