Epi-Ready Team Training: Foodborne Illness Response Strategies
Foodborne Illness Response Strategies
What Is Epi-Ready?
Developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Epi-Ready is a two-day in-person workshop for environmental
and public health professionals with responsibility for investigation of
foodborne illness outbreaks. With a team-based approach to training, Epi-Ready
focuses on how to efficiently and effectively respond to an outbreak by
understanding the roles and responsibilities of the disciplines
involved—using the analogy of the 4-legged stool. What happens to a
stool (investigation) if one leg is broken or missing?
The Epi-Ready 4-legged stool represents
collaboration between the three disciplines involved in a foodborne
illness investigation, environmental health specialists/sanitarians,
epidemiologists and laboratory staff. The fourth leg of the stool
comprises all others who directly or indirectly are involved in outbreak
investigations, including public health nurses, health educators,
industry, risk communication/public information officers, and others.
Workshop content is designed to follow the
Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) Guidelines.
Topics are covered through a combination of
lecture, question and answer sessions, interactive group exercises and
final case study.
Epi-Ready goals are that each leg of the stool…
Better understand the roles and responsibilities of all disciplines in
Build a more efficient working relationship and open lines of
communication with partners.
Understand that collaboration is KEY!
Click here to view a recording of a free webinar on Epi-Ready and Epi-Ready for Industry (I-FIIT-RR).
For more information on Epi-Ready Team Training, please contact Ginny
Coyle, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 303-756-9090,
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Attend an Epi-Ready
Epi-Ready Workshops are hosted by health departments or associations.
Registration may be limited to staff and partners of the hosting agency.
For more information on availability of training, please contact Ginny
Coyle, email@example.com, phone:
303-756-9090, ext 346.
CDC-funded Epi-Ready Training Workshop Schedule for 2013
Contra Costa County
Due to high interest in this workshop, the application
process is now closed (prior to the application
deadline of August 2, 2013).
The workshop calendar is updated throughout the year.
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There are two ways to hold an Epi-Ready Team
Training in your state:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide
funding for three or four workshops per year throughout the U.S.
Self-funded. Often, health departments or associations are able to
host a workshop through training, emergency response, or other budgets.
Both CDC and self-funded workshops are two-day trainings for 50
attendees and include:
Coordination and support throughout the workshop by NEHA staff person
Three discipline specific experienced instructors
Course materials for 50 participants
NEHA Epi-Ready Manual
APHA Control of Communicable Diseases Manual
IAFP Procedures to Investigate Foodborne Illness Manual
CDC/AMA Foodborne Illness Physician's Primer
Additional handouts and resources
Host agencies are responsible for providing a meeting venue with seating
for 50 participants, audio visual (laptop and projector), and beverages
(coffee and tea). Snacks for breaks are optional, but appreciated by attendees.
For information on self-funded workshops and/or the application and
selection process for workshops funded by CDC, please contact Ginny
Coyle, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 303-756-9090 ext 346.
NEHA has also developed a 1½ day training,
Industry Foodborne Illness
Investigation Training and Recall Response (I-FIIT-RR), for industry
professionals. Training includes the steps in a foodborne illness outbreak investigation
and industry's role in reducing the individual and economic impact of foodborne illness. Please contact Elizabeth Landeen,
for more information on I-FIIT-RR.
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Workshop Learning Objectives
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Describe the desirable skills and knowledge available through a foodborne disease outbreak investigation and control team.
Recognize a possible foodborne outbreak through reports to a
notification/complaint system or pathogen-specific surveillance.
Generate hypotheses about the source of an outbreak using information
on causative agents, the implicated facility, the descriptive
epidemiology of cases, and case interviews.
Describe how the contributing factors in an outbreak are related to
the causative agent, the suspect food, and food preparation setting.
Explain terms used in epidemiology such as case-control and cohort
study, relative risk, odds ratio, and measure of association.
List important considerations in the collection and submission of
clinical and food specimens to the laboratory.
Identify ways to improve communications between members of the
outbreak investigation team.
View learning objectives for each module (PDF).
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Continuing Education Hours
Epi-Ready has been approved for 14 hours of Continuing Education through NEHA.
Continuing Education through CDC
The training (identified on the CDC training website as EV2078: Epi Ready
Foodborne Illness Response Strategies) has also been approved by CDC for
Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Nursing Education (CNE)
and International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) credits as follows:
CME: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited by
the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) to
provide continuing medical education for physicians.
CNE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is accredited as a
provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the American Nurses
Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
IACET: The CDC has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the
International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET),
1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102.
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More about Epi-Ready
The workshop is designed for
environmental (EH) and public health (PH) professionals working in city,
county and tribal agencies and/or State Environmental Protection, Health
and Agriculture Departments. The training is also appropriate for
individuals from industry or consultants that collaborate in foodborne
disease outbreak investigations.
Past attendees have ranged from new hires to
staff with more than 30 years of experience working in food safety and foodborne illness investigations.
Over 2,400 EH and PH professionals have been trained
Over 47 workshops conducted in 33 states
Attendees represent all 50 states, plus Guam
International attendance from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Jamaica
Recipient of the 2008 Food Safety Leadership Award from NSF
View a history of previous Epi-Ready
Past Epi-Ready Attendee Comments
"Ongoing conversation and collaboration between the epidemiologist and
environmental health professionals has resulted directly from the
"As district epidemiologist, I am in the process of working with our EH
manager and EH specialists to create a database for passive surveillance
by collecting and entering consistent data on all potential foodborne
illness complaints. Our goal, specifically, is to collect quality data
that can be readily analyzed. Such data does not currently exist for our
district unless a foodborne illness is laboratory confirmed."
"Our district is restructuring our epi response team to include a
dedicated foodborne outbreak "sub-team" and will construct district
policies and procedures specific to this team."
"The workshop was excellent and the class helped the sanitarians that
attended have a better working relationship with nurses and the
different roles each would have in an outbreak of a foodborne disease.
As a nurse it helped me have a better understanding how sanitarians felt
and their responsibilities and roles."
"Without the training I would not have collaborated with the food
inspector, and we approached the situation jointly. The training was
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