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Outbreak management

This section provides resources to assist public health practitioners in the investigation of foodborne and other enteric illness outbreaks, including questionnaires, reporting forms and outbreak management guidelines.

Outbreaks of foodborne illness are identified and reported through epidemiological and/or laboratory surveillance, notifications from medical practitioners or members of the public. Outbreaks are investigated to identify a source of infection and to implement control measures to prevent further cases of illness within the community.

Members of the public should contact their local public health unit should they wish to report suspected outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Outbreak investigation questionnaire templates

Pathogen specific questionnaires are located at the Communicable disease control guidance (A-Z).

Catered function / common meal (DOC, 179KB) – template used for point source outbreaks where all persons experiencing illness had consumed food from a single venue or function.

Unknown pathogen (Docx,103KB) – template used for outbreaks where a pathogen was not detected or has not yet been identified.

Alleged foodborne illness (Docx, 77KB) – template used for alleged foodborne illness during the Commonwealth Games.

Outbreak reporting forms

All outbreak reports should be sent to the Queensland OzFoodNet team using the following templates:

When an enteric outbreak is still under investigation:

  • Interim outbreak report form (XLS, 59KB) - to be completed and forwarded to OzFoodNet for inclusion in the fortnightly Queensland OzFoodNet Enteric Surveillance Report.

When an enteric outbreak is declared over:

Outbreak management guidelines

The Queensland Health Suspected Foodborne Illness Outbreak Management Guideline (PDF 834KB) provides operational guidance for the investigation and management of suspected or confirmed gastrointestinal illness outbreaks including local, cross boundary and state-wide outbreaks.

Individual guideline attachments are available for download:

Attachment 2: OCT Meeting Agenda (DOC, 102KB)

Attachment 3: OCT Meeting Minutes (DOC, 107KB)

Attachment 4: Outbreak Investigation Log (DOC, 14KB)

Attachment 6: Outbreak Situation Report (DOC, 100KB)

Attachment 7: Final Internal Outbreak Report (DOC, 17KB)

Attachment 10: Summary of food and environmental laboratory testing (DOC, 16KB)

Last updated: 26 July 2019