Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)

Years Available
1996 to present
Mode of Collection
Surveillance data: active data collection.
The objectives of the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) are to: determine the burden of foodborne illness in the U.S.; monitor trends in the burden of specific foodborne illness over time; attribute the burden of foodborne illness to specific foods and settings; and disseminate information that can lead to improvements in public health practice and the development of interventions to reduce the burden of foodborne illness. The network conducts active surveillance for infections transmitted commonly through food at 10 Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites and related epidemiologic studies.
Selected Content
Laboratory-diagnosed cases of Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Demographic, travel, and health outcomes data are also collected.
Population Covered
Populations in 10 EIP sites (the states of Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, and selected counties in California, Colorado, and New York) which covers 15% of the U.S. population (approximately 48 million people).
FoodNet conducts active population-based surveillance in 10 U.S. states for all laboratory-diagnosed infections of select enteric pathogens transmitted commonly through food. Infections are defined as isolation of the bacteria from a clinical specimen by culture or detection of pathogen antigen, nucleic acid sequences, or, for STEC Shiga toxin or Shiga toxin genes, by a culture-independent diagnostic test (CIDT). A CIDT detects the presence of a specific antibody or antigen or the DNA of an organism. FoodNet personnel regularly contact clinical laboratories to ascertain laboratory-diagnosed cases of infection occurring within the surveillance sites. Hospitalizations occurring within 7 days of specimen collection date are recorded, as is the patient's status (dead or alive) at hospital discharge or 7 days after the specimen collection date if not hospitalized, whether the patient traveled abroad before illness began, and selected food and environmental exposures for select pathogens. Deaths and hospitalizations are attributed to the pathogen if they occur within 7 days of the specimen collection date regardless of actual cause. Cases with no documentation of international travel or unknown travel are considered domestically acquired infections.
Tack D, Marder EP, Griffin PM, Cieslak PR, Dunn J, Hurd S, Scallan E, Lathrop S, Muse A, Ryan P, Smith K, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Vugia DJ, Holt KG, Wolpert BJ, Tauxe RV, Geissler AL. Preliminary incidence and trends of infections with pathogens transmitted commonly through food — Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2015–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 Apr;68(16);369-373