Planning for a public health information infrastructure for food safety

Every year, food-borne illness in the US causes an estimated 5,000 deaths, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 76 million illnesses, with financial loss of over $7 billion in premature death, medical costs, and lost productivity; yet food-borne illness is preventable. The current system to prevent food-borne illness is inadequate, despite the efforts of food producers, federal regulators, and state and local health departments. Effective and efficient prevention of food-borne illness requires analysis and understanding of causative factors and their interactions, the relative risks associated with particular hazards and behaviors, the opportunities to prevent or reduce risk and health consequences, and the relative cost and effectiveness of available risk reduction and health protection interventions and strategies. Although much of the information needed to build this understanding exists, it is in agency, government, or industry silos, and is not widely shared. There is no coherent mechanism for defining data needs, designing approaches to data collection on a system-wide basis, and integrating that information -- in short, there is no public health information infrastructure for food safety. This project will tackle the first phase of creating such an infrastructure by defining the need, feasibility, and objectives; identifying the issues and obstacles that must be addressed; developing initial design concepts; and building commitment among key institutions and individuals for collaboration. The Food Safety Research Consortium and the Public Health Informatics Institute will continue their early success in bringing diverse parties in the food safety community together. If this first phase is successful, it is possible that renewal funding will be considered to pursue the next steps to establish an integrated infrastructure for food safety.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $70,710.00

Awarded on: 6/15/2007

Time frame: 7/1/2007 - 6/30/2008

Grant Number: 62276


Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University

2121 K Street, N.W., Suite 200
Washington, 20002-4409


Michael R. Taylor
Project Director