The Food and Drug Administration’s CORE Network has just released its report on activities in 2022.

The report from the Coordinated Outbreak Response & Evaluation (CORE) Network outlines activities and actions from the work of the CORE team in 2022. It marks the first time CORE has published an annual report since its inception in 2011.

The FDA established CORE to find, stop, and aid in the prevention of foodborne illness outbreaks. CORE only deals with FDA-regulated human foods and does not investigate foods under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The FDA has jurisdiction over about 80 percent of the U.S. food supply.

CORE’s work is accomplished through disease surveillance, outbreak response, post-response activities, and collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health agencies.

In 2022, CORE evaluated 65 incidents, responded to 28 and issued advisories for 11. These numbers show a slight increase in the number of incidents evaluated in recent years, with 59 incidents evaluated, 19 responses, and 10 advisories issued in 2021. 

The categories for CORE activities are defined as:

Incidents Evaluated — Incidents evaluated includes potential outbreaks, confirmed outbreaks, and adverse events that were evaluated by the CORE Signals and Surveillance Team. Not all incidents evaluated by Signals are transferred to Response for follow up.

Responses Initiated — When an outbreak appears to be caused by an FDA-regulated food, this information is passed to a Response Team to coordinate FDA’s response efforts.

Advisories Issued — Public health advisories are issued to provide consumers with actionable advice about an FDA-regulated food linked to an outbreak.

In 2022 the CORE Network’s work included investigations into E. coli, Cronobacter, hepatitis A virus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella illnesses that were linked to a variety of products, including produce, dairy, and fish.

CORE investigations also resulted in numerous public health actions, including recalls, public health advisories, Warning Letters, FDA prevention strategies, a country-wide Import Alert, and a Consent Decree. 

The 2022 annual report highlights a few noteworthy outbreaks from 2022: Listeria monocytogenes linked to enoki mushrooms, Salmonella linked to cantaloupe; and Salmonella linked to peanut butter.

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