Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new version of its online tool that allows users to search for data on foodborne outbreaks. Originally launched in 2009, the redesigned Foodborne Outbreak Online Database Tool (FOOD Tool) contains two decades of outbreak data reported to the CDC and can be broken down by year, state, food or ingredient and pathogen or other cause--confirmed or suspected.

Now, the FOOD Tool houses data from 1998 to 2014. New interactive features include:

  • Maps, graphs and tables
  • “Quick stats” display
  • Case counts for multistate outbreaks

The FOOD Tool is especially useful to public health investigators who can search past cases for food sources and pathogens that might give insight into current cases. Also, the database can be used by reporters and the general public for a historic understanding of foodborne outbreaks in the U.S.