About the Tennessee Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence


Woman and child eating breakfastThe Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence identify and evaluate best practices for foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak investigation then share this knowledge with others.  CDC named Tennessee state health department and the University of Tennessee as a Center of Excellence under the authority of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on August 31, 2012.


FSMA is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years.  Signed into law on January 4, 2011, FSMA focuses on preventing food contamination and relies on CDC’s expertise in surveillance to accomplish this goal.


With CDC's support, this Center aims to:

  • Provide technical help and training in epidemiological, laboratory, and environmental investigations
  • Decrease the burden of foodborne illness using improved techniques in detection, investigation, control, and reporting
  • Use information gathered during outbreak investigations to prevent future illnesses and outbreaks
  • Develop and share best practices through their six main activity areas


Main Activity Areas

Main Activity Areas
  • Collaborate with public health professionals to strengthen foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigations.
  • Analyze the timeliness and effectiveness of foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak response activities.
  • Train state and local public health staff in epidemiological and environmental investigation of foodborne illness, including timeliness, coordination, and standardization of the investigation process.
  • Strengthen capacity to participate in foodborne illness surveillance and environmental assessment information systems.
  • Conduct food-safety program evaluations and outreach activities focused on increasing prevention, communication, and education.