The Center for Science in the Public Interest has tracked foodborne illness outbreaks -- events where two or more people become ill from eating the same food -- since 1997. Founded by executive director Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., and two other scientists, CSPI carved out a niche as the organized voice of the American public on nutrition, food safety, health and other issues during a boom of consumer and environmental protection awareness in the early 1970s. CSPI has long sought to educate the public, advocate for government policies that are consistent with scientific evidence on health and environmental issues, and counter industry’s powerful influence on public opinion and public policies.The Outbreak Alert! database includes only outbreaks where both the food and pathogen have been identified and currently has information on over 7,000 outbreaks that occurred between 1990 to 2011.

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