WASHINGTON – The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) has published industry guidelines to establish the role of owners, operators and managers of food establishments during a foodborne illness outbreak investigation.

The CIFOR Industry Guidelines, available on-line at cifor.us, provide a step-by-step approach that companies may take throughout the phases of an outbreak investigation, including preparation, detection, investigation, control and follow-up. The guidelines are intended to complement, rather than replace, existing company procedures.

The resource was developed through a partnership between federal agencies and food-service professionals, with representatives from the USDA’s Food and Safety Inspection Service and Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well the National Restaurant Association and Food Marketing Institute.

“These CIFOR guidelines offer a clear pathway to success in industry’s and government’s efforts to ensure that the foods we produce and regulate are safe to eat,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Both industry and government have a shared responsibility for the safety of our nation’s food supply. By outlining and clarifying specific roles and responsibilities during each outbreak, we develop greater trust and accountability among stakeholders and consumers.”