09/15/2011 12:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

FDA Creates Foodborne Illness Team To Respond Quickly To Outbreaks

In order to more effectively combat foodborne illness, and perhaps in response to the recent rash of contaminated food, the FDA has unveiled a new team, the Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network, dedicated to responding quickly to human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks. The FDA's press release states:

The CORE Network is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists, emergency coordinators, and risk communications specialists. Working full-time on outbreak prevention and response at headquarters, the CORE is complemented by trained, experienced investigators in FDA field offices nationwide. CORE will coordinate closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state public health and agriculture agencies in human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks.

The full-time staff "will be better equipped to respond to outbreaks" and is led by Kathleen Gensheimer, who was previously state epidemiologist for Maine.

We'd like to imagine a motley crew of modern-day Ghostbusters, but we have a feeling this CORE Network spends less time fighting giant marshmallow monsters and more time with microscopic pathogens. Still, if CORE needs a theme song, they know who to call.